Lessons from Asthma Peak Week
The 3rd week in September marked Asthma Peak Week for 2019. What is Asthma Peak Week? It is a week when certain conditions come together to create a perfect storm for asthma sufferers. As a result, hospitalizations and private practice visits related to asthma increase that week across the country. The contributing factors include the beginning of cold and flu season, exposure to new germs due to the start of the school year, and growth in mold and ragweed. The resulting burden on asthma sufferers can exacerbate their attacks and can be particularly dangerous for elderly patients, children, and people whose immune systems are compromised.
The best lesson we have learned related to asthma peak week is that asthma sufferers should get ahead of it. Now that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has identified this particular week as posing a threat to asthma sufferers each year, people can start planning for how to best avoid problematic asthma attacks in late September.
As with any time of year, avoiding asthma triggers is one critical way to prevent attacks. At a time of year when other factors can make your attacks worse, staying away from your triggers is particularly important. If you do not know what your triggers are, now is a good time to start watching for patterns in your asthma attacks to try to determine what may set them off.
Ensuring that your asthma is under control ahead of asthma peak week is another good way to prepare. Seeing your allergist over the summer so that your doctor can evaluate the status of your asthma and help you make any necessary changes is a good way to help protect yourself ahead of the brutal week in September. You can also work with your provider to ensure that you have enough medications and inhalers to deal with any exacerbation that may occur during the peak week.
Getting sick, especially with respiratory infections, can drastically worsen asthma. Doing what you can to avoid getting sick is therefore particularly important in the month of September. Getting flu shots early in the season and keeping your hands clean are good ways to protect against these infections. Putting “Asthma Peak Week” on your 2020 calendar should help you remember to do what you can to prepare for the week next year.