Thunderstorm Asthma Alert, Victoria

For all our asthma sufferers be aware of these precautions:

 

Spring marks the start of thunderstorm asthma season and doctors at The Alfred are urging people to start taking preventative measures, even if they have not suffered from asthma before.

I’m sharing this information with as many of our wonderful supporters as possible. I hope you find it valuable and perhaps you would like to share it with your friends or loved ones.

What is epidemic thunderstorm asthma? It is where a large number of people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, triggered by unusual thunderstorm conditions with high levels of concentrated pollen. The particles present during a storm are small enough to be breathed deep into the lungs and can trigger life-threatening asthma symptoms.

You are at more risk of an asthma attack during storms in Spring months if you suffer from hay fever (with or without asthma), hypersensitivity to ryegrass pollen or poorly controlled asthma

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If you think you might be at risk, use these strategies:

Thunderstorm Asthma

1) Good asthma control – whether you have been diagnosed with asthma, or have ever displayed asthma symptoms, talk to your doctor about regular treatment. Taking an asthma preventer properly and regularly is key to preventing asthma, including thunderstorm asthma. While you’re there get your GP to check your inhaler technique.
2) Regular hay fever treatment – keeping on top on your allergies is important. Administering a corticosteroid nasal spray regularly throughout spring and early summer can prevent thunderstorm asthma. See your pharmacist or doctor for a hay fever treatment plan and for a specific treatment plan for children.
3) Avoidance Рpeople at risk should avoid being outside during a thunderstorm  especially the wind gusts that come before the storm. When inside or in a car, ensure your doors and windows are closed and the air conditioning is off or set to recirculate mode. These measures may not completely prevent exposure, so any symptoms should be managed immediately.
4) Keep up to date – keeping up with pollen counts and predicted storms is something that can be implemented immediately. This is something that you can do easily. Thunderstorm warnings are available through the Bureau of Meteorology at www.bom.gov.au and pollen counts and forecasts are available at AusPollen at www.pollenforecast.com.au

 

Info: Alfred Hospital

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