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Nov 1

What is the Link between Hay fever, Thunderstorms & Asthma?

In 2017, we were introduced to the term ‘thunderstorm asthma’. So, what exactly does it mean and what are the links between thunderstorms, hay fever and asthma?

Thunderstorm asthma is triggered by an uncommon combination of high pollen (usually during late Spring to early Summer) and a certain kind of thunderstorm.

Itoccurswhenthunderstorms suddenly trigger high grass pollen levels, resulting in large numbers of people developing asthma and hay fever symptoms over a short period of time, most commonly during late spring to early summer.

Not only does thunderstorm asthma cause lots of people to become unwell, but the sudden onset of symptoms can put a strain on health services with many people requiring medical support.

Thunderstorm asthma is a new epidemic that we are still trying to fully understand but the general consensus is that pollen grains from grass gets swept up in the updraft of a storm and carried for long distances, thus affecting many people. Some pollen grains can burst open and release tiny particles in the wind just before the thunderstorm and these particles are so small, they are able to be breathed into the lungs. This can trigger severe asthma symptoms and make it difficult to breathe.

Anyone can be affected, even if you don’t have a history of asthma but people at increased risk have a history of asthma, unrecognized asthma and hay fever and in particular, seasonal hay fever. People who are are allergic to grass pollen are also at increased risk.

Some of the symptoms include wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and a tight feeling in the chest. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Get the right treatment for asthma and hay fever from your local GP at Melbourne City Medical today.