What is Thunderstorm Asthma?
During grass pollen season (1 October through to the end of December) people may notice an increase in asthma and hay fever. It also brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma.
Thunderstorm asthma is thought to be triggered by a unique combination of high amounts of grass pollen in the air and a certain type of thunderstorm. For people who have asthma or hay fever this can trigger severe asthma symptoms.
When a large number of people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, related to high grass pollen and a certain type of thunderstorm, it is known as Epidemic thunderstorm asthma.
Protecting your community
You can protect yourself and those in your care by following these simple steps:
- Monitor the epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk forecast:
- Vic Emergency thunderstorm asthma forecast webpage
- download the VicEmergency app (App Store or Google Play) – you can set up a 'watch zone' for your location to receive advice and warnings about potential epidemic thunderstorm asthma events during the grass pollen season.
- Don’t be outdoors in a storm, especially during the winds that precede them. Go inside and close your doors and windows. Turn off any air conditioner systems that bring air from outside into the home or car (including evaporative air conditioners).
- Take your preventative medication as directed, even when you’re symptom free.
- Carry your reliever and know how to manage an asthma attack.
- Follow your asthma action plan or use the asthma first aid.
Find out more
Visit the Better Health Channel to learn more
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