New South Wales and Victoria are today being issued with warnings of thunderstorm asthma as storms are scheduled to happen later today in both states. 

‘The Morning Show’ reported the warnings in their broadcast this morning:

The warnings come as eight people passed away in Victoria from the phenomenon over the past month. 

The National Asthma Council has issued warnings for residents to be on high alert for symptoms.

Council Chair Dr Jonathan Burdon AM explained that those with hayfever are also at great risk:

“As we have seen with the recent events in Melbourne any serious asthma attack can be life-threatening and have tragic consequences.

Act quickly if you start to have symptoms such as shortness of breath or wheezing.

If you haven’t previously had a diagnosis of asthma and are experiencing regular symptoms, book in to have a review with your doctor. You may benefit from preventer medication and having an action plan for emergencies.”

Asthma Australia have released this poster, which guides you what to do if you or someone with you is hit by a severe asthma attack:

STAY SAFE: Thunderstorm Asthma Warnings Issued For VIC / NSW Tonight

National Asthma Council Australia have also urged people to take note of the following advice in order to prevent thunderstorm asthma attacks:

  • Always carry your blue reliever puffer with you
  • Make sure you take your regular daily preventer, if you have been prescribed one
  • Know the signs of worsening asthma and the asthma first aid steps
  • If you start developing any signs of asthma, follow your personal asthma action plan, if you have one, or the asthma first aid steps
  • If your asthma symptoms are rapidly worsening, call 000 and say you are having an asthma attack.

The phenomenon occurs when a thunderstorm is mixed with a hot and windy day during pollen season. 

When the storm hits, grains of pollen absorb moisture from the storm, and burst into even tinier particles. The winds blow the particles down to ground level, and are inhaled deep inside the lungs and trigger serious asthma attacks. 

Be safe out there, lung-owners, wherever you may be!

Source: Herald Sun / Asthma Council.

Photo: Cassie Trotter / Getty.