Follow up: Thunderstorm and Allergy

13 Jan 2017

Around 1 in 4 people with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) also have asthma.

Following the recent thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne—where tragically eight people died and around 8,500 were treated—there have been a number of preemptive warnings for people with hay fever, grass allergies or asthma to be aware of the conditions in other locations. 

Although it is still considered a rare phenomenon, early data from an online Asthma Australia survey found four in 10 people who experienced asthma symptoms did not have a previous diagnosis of asthma. Symptoms can also be indicators of other inhalant allergies and according to a snapshot of the first 2,000 responses more than 90 per cent of respondents who experienced symptoms did have hay fever.

Only 29 per cent of the people prescribed with preventer medication took it every day.

Thunderstorms can trigger serious attacks in people with asthma when the pollen count is high. A new app is available for hay fever and asthma sufferers that could help people manage their symptoms thanks to a new nation-wide pollen monitoring system. We recommend downloading Pollen Forecast for your location.

Remember that if using a reliever (Ventolin or Asmol) more than 2 times a week, this is an indicator for needing preventer asthma medication (or a review), as is nocturnal waking or limitation of exercise by cough or wheeze. 

If you have asthma it is important to keep it well controlled. Prevention is the best treatment and clinical testing and diagnosis is the first step toward understanding and managing allergic health. 

Contact us to find out if you’re at risk of allergic asthma, to update your Asthma Action Plan or to be tested and treated for other inhalant allergies such as hay fever and allergic conjunctivitis.


Read our first post explaining Thunderstorm asthma.


Thunderstorms and allergy
Brisbane Clinic