Thunderstorm asthma is an extremely rare but potentially dangerous phenomenon that is triggered by a combination of warm weather, high grass pollen levels, and stormy conditions resulting in a large portion of the population developing severe asthma and hay fever symptoms over a short period of time. People who are allergic to pollens and dust are particularly prone to the effects of thunderstorm asthma. For these people, it is extremely important to understand how to prevent and manage it effectively.
What Causes Thunderstorm Asthma?
According to weather and health experts, thunderstorm asthma is not necessarily linked with stormy weather and a high grass pollen count. In reality, it is a very complex phenomenon involving a number of complex weather factors such as:
- changes in temperature and humidity
- high grass pollen count on that day
- wind patterns
- percentage of other allergens in the air
- type and intensity of grass pollen
The good news is that thunderstorm asthma doesn’t occur very often,, therefore by knowing more about it and how to manage it you can better prepare yourself to deal with it when the time comes.
Who Is At Risk?
Here is a list of those who are at increased risk of being affected by thunderstorm asthma:
- people with diagnosed asthma
- people with seasonal hay fever
- people who are allergic to ryegrass pollen
What Are The Symptoms?
Thunderstorm asthma usually comes with the following symptoms:
- persistent coughing
- shortness of breath
- tightness in the chest
- itchy, watery eyes
The best way to deal with thunderstorm asthma is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Therefore, good asthma control is the key to effective management of thunderstorm asthma. Here is what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe:
- keep yourself abreast with the latest local information on how to manage it
- if you are diagnosed with asthma, make sure to check in with you GP before spring and early summer to update your treatment plan
- keep track of weather conditions, especially pollen counts and humidity during spring and summer season
- avoid going outside during the windy weather conditions
If you need to update your asthma treatment plan call us on the number below or BOOK ONLINE
Southgate Medical Centre
03 9690 1433