Noticing the headline, I assumed (with no justification - gotta stop jumping to conclusions) that the cause might be along the lines of thunder and lightning frightening folks, the chest tightening, heartrate spiking, and suddenly breathing gets labored. But it's not that at all (maybe):
"Experts are not certain about the exact mechanics of thunderstorm asthma. They hypothesize that heavy thunderstorm winds create updrafts that lift pollen and mold particles from the ground. Beating rain saturates and bursts the particles into tiny pieces. A downdraft then spreads those small particles into the air we breathe. Some think that the electrical charge of the storm may make these tiny particles more likely to stick in the lungs when inhaled.
“There’s a lot of small respirable particles floating around that folks can inhale and (that) contain those allergens that cause them to react,” said Susan Kosisky, chief microbiologist with the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab in Silver Spring, Maryland."
Now, my blog is supposed to be about the commercial janitorial service industry, in which I make my living. I can stretch a point by talking about the above "small respirable particles" and allergens, and what we do to minimize them in our client facility indoor air: HEPA filtered vacs, for both tile and carpet; microfiber wipes and microfiber mops to replace cotton cloths and wet-mops; careful chemical selection, and so on.
And, in measuring our clients' indoor air periodically, we do find that (on a very rough average) we can cut daytime airborne particle count by around 50%. And that's measuring for particles in the size range of most allergens: spores, pollen, airborne bacteria, dust-mite droppings, etc.
But, backed into a corner, I'd have to admit that the reason the article attracted me was not it's (tangential) applicability to my firm. but the interesting things you run across when you read deeply enough to get past the common assumptions and explanations, and "down into the weeds".