Stay safe team, ‘cos Victorians are being warned about the increased risk of thunderstorm asthma as we head into spring. Suddenly all my fantasies of frolicking in the spring sunshine are crushed.
As if being boshed and blown by a possible third La Niña this spring wasn’t enough, we’re also heading into grass and pollen season.
This is bad news for all my fellow hayfever-and-asthma-girlies, so Victoria Health is telling people who have a history of asthma and hay fever to make a plan with their GP for the sneezy season.
“If you have current, past or undiagnosed asthma or seasonal hay fever you are at risk of thunderstorm asthma,” it said, per 9News.
“So be prepared to manage any symptoms and stay out of hospital.”
Thunderstorm asthma can happen thanks to a truly unholy combo of certain types of thunderstorm and high quantities of grass pollen in the air.
People with asthma or hay fever are most at risk, and thunderstorm asthma can trigger really serious coughing or wheezing fits. Back in 2016, Victoria’s thunderstorm asthma season was classified as an “epidemic” and saw 10 people die.
There are a couple of big things you can do to protect yourself.
The first is not to go out in winds before a forecast storm, or during a storm.
You should chat to your GP about a thunderstorm asthma plan, including potential preventative meds, and make sure you have your inhaler or reliever on hand.
From October 1, Victoria Health will start its epidemic thunderstorm asthma risk forecast. Handily, you can get updates on the VicEmergency app: it’ll issue risk forecasts every day between October and December. Shoutout to technology, truly.
After a wild, wet and woolly winter, it’s pretty grim to know we’re facing a wheezy, wet spring and possible summer too. Stay safe, have a convo with your GP and keep that reliever on hand.