Thunderstorm Asthma

Friday, 2 December 2016
Thunderstorm asthma:
  • can occur from Late October to December (refer attached overview)
  • happens when there are winds coming from the north , a high pollen count and these factors combine with rain
  • Pollen molecules are split and inhaled into the airways causing respiratory symptoms which can be severe (especially in poorly controlled asthma or even in people unknown to have asthma).

Tips for helping to prevent deaths from Thunderstorm asthma symptoms.

  1. If you have asthma, always have a Reliever puffer and spacer handy and stay inside on high pollen days
  2. Have your asthma reviewed regularly , take your  preventer if and as  prescribed and have an asthma plan
  3. If you get heyfever, treat it early and stay inside on high pollen days
  4. If you notice breathing difficulties, take medications early and stay inside to avoid pollens
  5. If you notice breathing difficulties,and have no  medications Ie no prior history of asthma / heyfever, stay inside to avoid pollens
  6. If breathing difficulties persist or worsen, arrange to be transported to the nearest hospital A&E /hospital ASAP. NB If you call 000 for an Ambulance ask how long the wait is expected to be. If delays are expected, arrange to be transported to the nearest hospital A&E /hospital ASAP. (Cover your nose and mouth when outdoors in transit  to prevent more inhalation of pollens)

Ie Do not wait outside for an Ambulance, check that the Ambulance is able to come quickly ie faster than it would be for someone to drive you.

Prevention If previous Thunderstorm asthma breathing symptoms were noticed ask your doctor or Pharmacist for a reliever puffer (and spacer preferably ), learn how to use them properly   and have them handy .  Relievers can be purchased over the Counter .

An Asthma educator can assist anyone with Asthma or asthma type symptoms  by ensuring that they are using their medications correctly and working with their doctor to ensure that they have good control of their asthma or symptoms.

Portland District Health has an asthma educator and to make an appointment call Intake 55210653.

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