Springtime prompts asthma alert

An early flowering time of year, a high pollen count rising in order to very high on Monday, temperatures prediction to rise to 28C and a comprehensive program of hazard reduction can burn has prompted Asthma Foundation NSW to issue a general warning towards the 800, 000 people in NSW who live with asthma.

Fire authorities have got warned that winter rains added fuel to grassland regions and today warm temperatures and low rain fall are drying it out, generating an above-normal fire potential for the particular 2013-14 fire season in NSW. Roughly one-third of NSW is already classed as a High fire danger after almost the whole State documented a rainfall level below or even very much below average during August.

To counter this threat the Rural Fire Service (RFS) has already started an extensive program associated with hazard reduction burns right throughout the State producing wood smoke that may trigger asthma symptoms or a trigger.

“While wood smoke cigarettes poses a health risk meant for asthmatics and people with other lung or even respiratory conditions,; the hazard reduction work that the RFS does now is vital to protect property and life during the warmer months when bushfires are a threat, ” said Michele Goldman, CEO of Asthma Basis NSW.

The one: 10 adults and children just who live with asthma should be aware that exposure to wood smoke could make asthma symptoms worse and trigger a possibly fatal attack. ”

‘We should always be mindful that asthma claims the lives of over 400 Australians each year. ‘

Weather patterns no longer seem to be conforming to old seasonal norms and neither it seems is character. One of the warmest winters on record has produced a very high pollen count after only a week associated with spring.

“Scientists have got warned that one of the side-effects associated with global warming may be that plant life will have longer or more than one flowering season, ” said Ms Goldman.

“Pollens, that are drawn up into the atmosphere and distributed by wind and thunderstorms, are a major concern because 80% of asthmatics also have allergies. Allergies trigger asthma attacks in 60-90% of children and in 50% of adults. ”

An allergic reaction occurs if a person’s immune system overreacts to elements found in the environment known as “allergens”. Sneezing and itching are common visible indications. While allergies are unpleasant sufficient for anyone, for people with asthma they are a particular problem because they can also trigger a good asthma attack, causing airways in order to contract and making it difficult to inhale. Pollen is one of the most common asthma triggers.

Literally hundreds of various agents can trigger an allergic attack or an asthma attack. It could be helpful to know what your asthma triggers are so that you are prepared, but it’s even more important to make sure that you’re at the right medication so that you have the most powerful defence when you do encounter one of your triggers.

“If you think you may have allergies, see your GP to talk about choices for allergy testing and management, ” said Ms Goldman.

“Spring is a very good time to call at your GP to get or update your own personal asthma action plan. People with written asthma action plans tend to have better asthma control, fewer attacks and less days off school or work. ”

If your asthma gets worse during spring here are a few practical tips for controlling asthma:

  • Our number one suggestion is to ensure you take your preventer medicine every day to stop asthma symptoms flaring up during high-risk days. keep your reliever medication close at hand at all times, and make sure you use it as soon as you get symptoms.
  • In the event of an smog event, such as wood smoke, the dust storm or ozone (created on hot days by visitors fumes and wood smoke from bushfires and hazard reduction burns), consider working from home. Let your company know how these conditions affect your asthma and try to negotiate a versatile working arrangement.
  • On high pollution or high pollen days postpone outdoor exercise.
  • When there’s lots of triggers in the air, stay indoors and if you can, use your air conditioner to filter plus circulate the air in your home. Don’t open up your windows or you will allow pollens or pollution inside, where it will settle all over your home
  • Shower and wash your hair when you come home in the evening. This helps keep pollens and pollution from rubbing off you and onto your bed, where it could exacerbate your asthma all night.

Keep an eye on pollen levels via the Asthma Basis NSW website www.asthmaaustralia.org.au

The Department of Environment & Heritage issues air pollution reports twice daily for the Sydney, Illawarra as well as the Lower Hunter regions, which are up-to-date hourly on http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/aqi.htm or call 131 555.

The particular NSW Rural Fire Service has the latest information on hazard reduction can burn or bushfires at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or even call 1800 NSW RFS (679 737)

For assist managing your asthma this springtime call the Asthma Foundation NSW InfoLine FREE on 1800 ASTHMA (278 462) or log on to www.asthmaaustralia.org.au

(Source: Asthma Australia)

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