Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is Thunderstorm Induced Asthma? #1in5

Did you see the lightening storm in NYC this past week?  Wow- it was amazing! The sky was filled with an amazing display of electricity and air with loud claps of thunder.   I really enjoyed watching it, but also waited for the second wave you may not know about...

The day after a thunder/lightening storm there is a  10 fold increase in asthma admissions to the emergency department!  Many patients this week are complaining of worsening asthma symptoms and may not make the connection between the nighttime storm and their asthma.

What's going on?

Many would think that the rain would "clean the air" of pollen and pollutants knocking the irritants from the air to the ground, but this is not the case.  Why do thunderstorms trigger asthma?

We don't know...

Some possible hypotheses on why thunderstorms trigger asthma are:
  • Perhaps it's a device used by nature to pollinate when there's water available for things to grow.
  • Others hypothesize that pollen grains rupture with contact from rain drops.  The pollen gets picked up by the winds occupied by the storm spreading.
  • Fungal and mold spores increase the day after a storm along with pollen counts.
  • Tree pollen spikes after a storm. 

Regardless of the reason, if you suffer from thunderstorm induced asthma, be prepared with your medications so you don't end up in the emergency room!

Here are some tips to prevent thunderstorm induced asthma:
  • Stay indoors the day after a storm
  • Have your medications on hand, make sure they aren't expired.
  • Keep your windows closed the day after the storm
  • Follow your asthma action plan
Most of all- if you are having signs/symptoms of asthma see your doctor.  Sadly, each day 9 people die from asthma.

Pollen counts continue to be very high in NYC.  Get help for your asthma and allergies in NYC with Gramercy Allergy.  Need help getting your asthma under control this spring or what other tips?  See an allergist and find relief! Gramercy Allergy and Asthma is ready to help you get control of your asthma.

Want to set up an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Collins, MD at Gramercy Allergy and Asthma?  Click here  We are located at 205 East 22nd Street, NY NY 10010

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