WITH allergy and thunderstorm season upon us, Asthma Australia has advised people living with asthma to be more vigilant with their treatment.
As part of its campaign to bring greater awareness to the potentially sinister side of hay fever, Asthma Australia’s annual asthma and allergy campaign is encouraging Australians experiencing hay fever symptoms to seek medical advice from their GP or pharmacist and to remain informed of changes in weather conditions.
Data shows higher than usual rates of asthma and hospitalisations during the spring pollen season and Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman said people needed to pay close attention to their asthma and allergies.
“At least 80 per cent of people with asthma also have hay fever (or allergic rhinitis),” MsGoldman said.
“Because hay fever and asthma can be triggered by the same pollen allergens, people with hay fever who experience symptoms of coughing or wheezing could also be experiencing symptoms of asthma.
“Unfortunately, research shows the presence of hay fever is associated with worse asthma control in both children and adults.
“We are urging people with symptoms to be vigilant about managing their asthma and hay fever in accordance with their Asthma Action Plan and Hay Fever Treatment Plan, and to see their GP for a review if they haven’t done so recently.
“Seeking information on pollen and weather conditions is another great way to be prepared.”
In 2016, a major weather event in Melbourne caused significant numbers of asthma-related hospitalisations, and the highest single number of deaths caused by asthma in Australia.
“We encourage people with asthma to be aware of adverse weather conditions and to have their reliever medication readily available.
“We also encourage people to ensure that their loved ones, work colleagues and people in their community understand how to assist with asthma management should they have a flare-up,” MsGoldman said.
For more information about asthma and allergy management, call the 1800ASTHMA Helpline (1800278462), consult your GP or pharmacist, or visit www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/asthmaindisguise.