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.
The Thunderstorm asthma overview video is available in the following languages:
Who is at risk of thunderstorm asthma?
Even if you don't think you have asthma or hay fever, don't ignore symptoms like wheezing or shortness of breath – check with your GP.
Protect yourself this pollen season
Know asthma first aid
One of the most common reliever medications in Australia is salbutamol, often known as your ‘’. These are available over the counter from a chemist. Bricanyl Turbuhaler (terbutaline 500 mcg) is a different blue reliever medication available over the counter.
If you are not sure if someone is having an asthma attack, you can still use a blue/grey reliever medication because it is unlikely to cause harm.
Call triple zero (000) immediately if:
- the person is not breathing
- their asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving
- the person is having an asthma attack and there’s no reliever medication available
- the person is unsure if it is asthma
- the person is known to have anaphylaxis. If this is the case, always give adrenaline autoinjector first, and then reliever, even if there are no skin symptoms.
Understanding thunderstorm asthma – real-life stories and expert guidance
Asthma and thunderstorm asthma
Learn about how a person with asthma may be affected during a thunderstorm asthma event.
Hay fever and thunderstorm asthma
Learn about how a person with hay fever may be affected during a thunderstorm asthma event.
Thunderstorm asthma - Christine McDonald explains
Christine McDonald, Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine from Austin Health provides valuable advice to people who have asthma and hay fever.
Thunderstorm asthma - Who is at risk?
Learn about who is at risk during a thunderstorm asthma event.
Thunderstorm asthma - Uday's story
Uday Dhumatkar shares his story about a severe and life-changing asthma attack.