Asthma is a difficult problem to live with. Highly common though it is there is still no cure and it has a bad habit of rearing its head at just the wrong moment. For those with serious asthma this can be enough to cause a lot of difficulties – perhaps forcing you to use steroids that will prevent you from drinking and enjoying yourself, or posing the threat of an attack that can be a serious health risk. In such cases it is important to consider your asthma in every activity and decision. Not to let it run your life – but to be aware of it so that it never becomes a problem. One place this is particularly important is when choosing a place to live.
There are several considerations here. Firstly in terms of the country you live in you should choose somewhere warm if possible. Asthma is always worse in the winter as the cold weather means there is less oxygen available in the air which can cause gasping. At the same time cold weather is more likely to leave your immune system vulnerable to an attack from a flu or cold virus which will then greatly exacerbate the problems inherent with asthma and put you at more danger (especially if you get a full-blown chest infection).
So you should live somewhere warm if work and other commitments will allow. At the same time though you should not live too central in a city. The reason for this is that cities create a lot of smoke and pollution which can get inside your trachea and your lungs and make it more difficult to breath. This then again makes you more susceptible to asthma attacks etc. Similarly however, if you move somewhere too rural with too much countryside you can find that your asthma becomes irritated by pollens and other irritants local to these areas (though this will not be a problem for everyone). Avoid really large cities for certain then (unless you need to live in them for work) and try instead smaller towns with lower populations, coastal towns which have very fresh air, and rural areas that do not have too many flowers and plants in the area.
When you choose your actual home you then need to consider other factors again. First of the commute – does your home require a long walk to the train station or bus stop in order to get to work? Is it a flat at the top of a large flight of stairs? In either scenario you should look elsewhere as you will find this quickly wears you out and can leave you susceptible to an asthma attack, especially if combined with other elements such as the cold or an illness. Similarly obviously avoid homes that are on the top or bottom of steep hills.
Furthermore, if you are living in a large block of flats or shared accommodation then you need to think about the rules there and the nature of the other tenants. In particularly you need to avoid being near smokers if it is allowed on the premises as this will really exacerbate your symptoms again. Also try to keep the air dry in your home. Moisture in the air can trigger a lot of breathing difficulties even if you are completely healthy and can end up getting on your lungs.
In short then, where possible look for somewhere warm with fresh clear air to live, and then make sure when choosing your actual home that you go somewhere that avoids hiking up stairs, up hills or to the train station. Finally ensure that the place is well kept and free from smoke.
Thank you for this guide. I am going to move because my asthma is getting progressively worse and need to move to a more suitable place. You have confirmed my own thoughts.
I am a classic, genetically determined asthmatic and my opinion and experience is that asthmatics should live in summer rainfall areas such as phoenix in USA, probably Canberra in Ozz and Johannesburg area in South Africa. The High humidity at the tropics are also a problem for me. And stay away from moldy areas, which is prevalent in winter rainfall areas. Thank you for this.
I have brittle asthma which is progressively getting worse. I live on the north coast and have been advised to move to a coastal area. Does anyone have any information on where to move to I’m looking from evans head in the northern rivers down as far as port Macquarie central coast. Any info would greatly be appreciated.