Anybody have humidity as a trigger for asthma?

I'm seeing a possible trigger between my asthma and humidity levels. It could just be coincidence, or something else, so I plan on starting a symptom diary and tracking humidity levels as well as my other notes I make.

I can track outdoor humidity levels from the weather report. I'm not sure how to track INDOOR humidity levels, though … hmh. 

Anybody else see a connection between humidity and asthma? Do you use a dehumidifier? 


Comments 27

  • Johnathan

    I live in mid arkansas where humidity can fluctuate quite crazily.  My asthma kicks up at the most unfortunate times. I can go from being out doors and not have a problem but then get into the a/c and start having an attack. And it can go the opposite way.  Ive had to live with a nebulizer or inhaler at my side because of this.

  • Melissa G

    Hi and Welcome to AAFA Jonathan!  So glad that you found us! Has your asthma always been that way?

    Humidity kills me. It is like getting slapped in the face and the breath is sucked out of me. 

  • Pljohns

     right there with you-I live in AL and we normally in the summer have humidity levels near 90% or higher-its STIFLING~ it is a huge trigger for me and makes getting out during the summer almost impossible.

  • LK

    Humidity is a trigger for me, too.  Here in the Midwest it tends to go up and down in the spring but once summer gets here it stays humid.  

    We have a small hygrometer by Holmes that is in the house to measure indoor humidity.  I don't remember where we got it, perhaps is was included in a thermometer we purchased a few years ago.  Don't know how accurate this one is but I would imagine there are other kinds out there.  

    ET insert photo into body of reply – CRR – 06-05-2018

  • Marie E Natzke

    Hi Cynthia yes humid weather will trigger breathing problems for me. I have an indoor outdoor thermometer that gives me indoor and outdoor humidity levels as well as temps. I purchased it at Target. Company is Lacross wireless technology. You put a sensor outside I have mine by my bedroom window under my awning to keep it out of the elements.

  • Shea

    I feel like humidity by itself is not the problem because I have a Mypurmist that blows out super clean hot moist steam and that will help clear me up– but when it is humid outside here in Florida– I think that air gets super moldy and mold is trigger for me. That is why indoors I diffuse eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils because they are supposed to help keep molds down (and I like their smells). And then it also gets humid around thunderstorm time and I have done all that reading on "thunderstorm asthma" and how the pollens increase right before thunderstorms and somethingvwith the pressures too.. So I think humidity is surely a sign but not necessarily a cause. For me at least .

  • K8sMom2002

    Thanks, Jonathon and everyone else!  

    Jonathon, I have that trouble as well — one of my known triggers is temperature extremes. I can wind up having problems with going from extreme hot to cold and cold to hot. I've had my DH actually start the car for me and let the AC run on hot summer days. 

    Melissa and Lynn and Shea, good to know that I'm not by myself. And that's a good point, Shea, about molds maybe being the problem — although my environmental allergy tests show that molds aren't supposed to be a problem for me. Still, it's a great reminder that there are many pieces of the puzzle.

    Lisa and Marie, thanks for sharing feedback on the devices you use! Lisa, does yours require batteries? It doesn't look like it does. I'd like that!

    And even if the hygrometer — look, I learned a new word! — isn't spot-on accurate, I could still use it to figure out trends. Close enough is good enough!

  • LK

    Cynthia,  Our hygrometer does not use batteries.  I admit I didn't know that word either.  It is on the product and I looked it up to make sure it meant what I thought it would.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Thanks, Lisa! I'll be on the lookout for one. I'll keep a symptom journal and see if there seems to be a connection, and if so, I can talk to my doc. 

    Love the way this group helps me put the pieces of the puzzle together!

  • Shea

    Yes I agree there is something about extreme temperature changes …. I remember noticing that a lot when I was first diagnosed– it is rspecially bad in our summers here in FL– and that might explain why I got so wheezy at that indoor/outdoor mall yesterday. I thought that mall would be better than indoor mall because indoor malls get the scents and allergens stuck inside but.. It is hard to say which is better .. going in and out of strong heat/humidity and very cool air or having equally cool air conditioned air full of perfumes and chemicals sprayed on clothes… I just get frustrated that triggers are everywhere. 

  • LK
    Shea posted:

    .. I just get frustrated that triggers are everywhere. 

    I hear you on that, Shea!!

  • Pljohns

    I hear you too Shea-and as if the natural triggers aren't bad enough, people just don't get it and they put even MORE triggers in our way.

  • Melissa G

    Bekah really struggles when we have huge weather changes. She had a really bad morning Saturday. I haven't seen her that way in awhile, it took a couple of doses of albuterol to kick it. She was not happy with me when I made her stay home from a graduation party we were attending. Dh stayed home with her and watched a bunch of movies. But the time I got home, she was doing much better. 

  • LK

    Melissa,  I am so sorry your daughter had such a rough day this weekend.  Proud of you for having her do what is best for her in the long run and not just cave in to make her happy in the short term. 

  • Ccurry60

    Yes I'm having problems with the humidity here in Kansas, I notice when I go outside its hard for me to breath and I have to use my rescue inhaler more often.

  • LK

    Welcome, Ccurry60!   

    I live in eastern Kansas, too and it was pretty warm today.  

  • Shea

    Welcome Curry60! Where did you live before Kansas?I

    I live in Florida and there a year-round allergens here that bother me. When I woke up today (with a big headache and sinus pressure) the weather seemed nice outside –it was not too humid but you could tell it might rain later.. And it did rain a lot later. But it seems right during that change is when my so is headaches and asthma are worse. I am not really sure if it is barametric pressure changes or worse ozone caused by lightening strikes or release of fungal spores that occurs before a storm or a combination of those things but I have read studies saying all those things and I just know I do worse during those times.

    Melissa, I am sorry your daughter has a tough time during weather changes. I think it is good to stay in when your not feeling well but it can be tough to do– I am glad she has you to support her.

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, Ccurry60! Ugh on the humidity causing troubles! 

    On high humidity days or high pollen days, I do tend to stay indoors. I've been looking at options for a dehumidifier as well. 

    Shea, I know that extreme temperature swing you're talking about at the outdoor mall. On hot summer days, people in the south crank their AC to throwing out snowballs, and businesses tend to be the worst! I guess it's because people are coming in and out all day, letting out the store's cool air? 

    Going from super hot to super cool or the reverse is hard for me. I have thought outdoor malls would be better as well because of indoor fragrances … hugs that this time wasn't as easy on your lungs. Hope you feel better today!

  • Pljohns

    Shea-hope you are better today and I'm there with you on the hot/cold from stores to outside.  It's a crap shoot-the fragrances of indoor verses the hot/cold of  an outdoor mall.  I don't know if one is better or not.

    cynthia-LOVE you description "turn the AC to throwing snowballs"  I have never heard that one but boy does it fit!

    CCurry60-Welcome and yes, there are several of us here that deal with the humidity issue. I live in AL and during the summer, we are jumping for joy if the humidity is below 90%.

    Melissa-hope DD is better.  it is so hard not to let them do something that they want to when you know it's not what is best for them.  I hope she is doing better-

  • Melissa G

    Thanks ladies! Yep, she is doing better! And she didn't stay too mad at me for long. We ended up getting nasty thunderstorms and it would have been hard for her to be outside and keep her central line dressing dry. So it all worked out. 

  • Melissa G

    @Johnathan How have you been doing? We have been having lots of hot and humid days here. What activities do you do when you can't be outside?

  • K8sMom2002

    I keep thinking that the humidity will ease up … but nope. It's September, and we still have sticky days. Tonight as I was cooking supper, I got an instant reminder that humidity is not my friend.

    I'm short, so I have to use a step ladder to reach things in high cabinets — oh, okay. EVERYTHING is high to me.

    So there I was, trying to get something from above my stove. I had a pot of boiling water on, and I was climbing carefully on the ladder to get to the cabinet above it. 

    The steam from the pot wafted up … and my lungs shut down. I realized it, and I quickly got out of harm's way. I was lucky that it didn't trigger a full blown asthma attack. 

    I am so grateful for this community … folks like Lynn and Melissa and Shea and Lisa have helped me pay attention to the things that make my asthma worse. Knowing my triggers means better asthma control!

  • Melissa G

    Yikes cynthia!! that is not good! Our weather has been terribly humid here. we have a storm front moving in today and it will drastically cool things off. In the meantime, our allergies/sinuses are a mess. 

  • LK

    Cynthia, so glad you didn't have a flare!  If I am not paying enough attention when I am opening the clothes dryer to check how dry the clothes are, the hot moist air from that hits me the same way.  It's so annoying that just one breath of hot, moist air has such a huge effect!

  • K8sMom2002

    I am, too — and I'm really glad that I noticed it in time. It's one more thing I can do to take care of myself. 

    Thanks for the tip about the dryer … I usually am lucky enough these days that DD washes and dries the lion's share of our clothes. But once she heads off to college, I shall inherit her chore! I'll need to take extra care.