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Cooler Arizona air posing problem for those with asthma

(Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

PHOENIX — Cooler Arizona temperatures can be a big problem for those with asthma.

Breathing in drier, cold air can causes the lung’s airways to constrict, leading to shortness of breath. Arizona has year-round pollen, and most people with asthma also deal with allergies. Children with the disease are especially prone to asthma attacks when the play outside.

“The pollen counts are the highest early in the morning and then late afternoon, and those are usually the times the kids are outside,” Kimberly Byrne with Banner Health’s pediatric asthma program said.

Byrne said ragweed in the Valley does not die off due to a lack of snow, which leads to a higher pollen count. Allergies are a trigger for most people with asthma. Byrne said it’s always best for asthma patients to have the inhaler handy when they venture outside.

“We recommend that they take their medication 15 minutes prior to going outside to prevent having an asthma attack,” Byrne said.

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