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Can Thunderstorms Cause Asthma Attacks?


Updated December 16, 2008

Question: Can Thunderstorms Cause Asthma Attacks?
Answer: Yes. Many asthma sufferers have known for years that their asthma symptoms seem to worsen around the time of a thunderstorm. It appears that changes in humidity (moisture levels) and electrical charges that occur during thunderstorms result in the rupture of pollen grains and wind gusts associated with the storms spread the pollen allergens. Asthmatics, with allergies to these pollens, can experience severe asthma symptoms during these thunderstorms to the point that many have had to go to the emergency room for treatment.

Therefore, it may be prudent for asthmatics to remain indoors during thunderstorms, especially those occurring during the pollen season(s) for which a person has worsening allergies.

Learn more about living with asthma, including having allergy testing done to determine your allergic triggers.


Grundstein A, et al. Thunderstorm associated asthma in Atlanta, Georgia. Thorax 2008;63:659-660.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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