Learn about thunderstorm asthma and how it affects people with asthma and hay fever.
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Grass pollen season brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma.
It can affect those with asthma or hay fever – especially those who experience wheezing or coughing with their hay fever.
These thunderstorm asthma events don't occur every year but when they do, they can happen from October through December in south-east Australia.
These events can be sudden, serious, and even life threatening and many people may need help at the same time
So how does this happen?
Pollen grains from grasses get swept up in the wind and carried for long distances.
Some burst open and release tiny particles that are concentrated in the wind, just before the storm.
They're small enough to go deep into the lungs and can make it difficult to breathe.
This can become very severe, very quickly.
So how do you protect yourself during grass pollen season?
If you've ever had asthma or hay fever, or if you sneeze and wheeze during pollen season, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about an action plan and the things you can do to protect yourself.
It's best to avoid being outside during thunderstorms from October through December – especially in the wind gusts that come before the storm. Stay inside and close your doors and windows.
Never ignore symptoms of asthma – wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing.
And, know the 4 steps of asthma first aid.
Protect yourself this pollen season.
Managing asthma and allergies matters.
Visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au for more information.