Asthma is an inflammatory condition which affects around one in 11 children and one in 12 of the adult population of the United Kingdom. The diagnosis is made when a patient presents with typical symptoms of cough, wheeze, tight chest and/or shortness of breath along with other key elements such as a family history of asthma or atopy, the presence of triggers and evidence of variable airflow obstruction which reverses with treatment.1 The variability in symptoms can be evident in different ways – through the episodic nature, diurnal variation or through seasonal changes.
In this article, we discuss how seasonal changes can affect asthma symptoms and influence management. By the end of this article you should have an increased awareness of:
- The pathophysiology of asthma
- The aims of asthma management
- How different seasons impact on asthma morbidity and mortality
- The management of seasonal asthma
The pathophysiology of asthma