For one in five Adelaide residents with hay fever and/or asthma, pollen season can be a time for sneezing, itchy eyes and shortness of breath, which can escalate into a serious health risk.
To help, Asthma Australia has kicked off the seasonal Pollen Count for Adelaide, reporting the past 24 hours of grass pollen levels at 11am daily on this webpage asthma.org.au/pollen-monitoring/.
Pollen counts are considered an important source of health information for those who are vulnerable, and people are encouraged to check it regularly and reduce exposure when pollen counts are high.
The pollen count is a partnership between Asthma Australia, the University of Adelaide and the AusPollen Aerobiology Collaboration Network headed up by the Queensland University of Technology, and is supported by the South Australian Power Networks.
Director of Programs and Partnerships at Asthma Australia, Nigel Cooper said the pollen count continues to be a popular health service for Adelaide residents.
“Pollen is a common trigger for asthma symptoms. More than 80% of people with asthma get hay fever which can make their asthma worse,” Mr Cooper said.
Asthma can feel like wheeze, tight chest, breathlessness or persistent coughing and when combined with hay fever (allergic rhinitis), sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. This combination can lead to an increase in asthma hospitalisations and symptoms over the season.
The best way to control hay fever and asthma is the regular use of preventer medicines such as nasal sprays and asthma inhalers, prescribed by your doctor alongside a written asthma and allergy action plan.
“Now is the time to start hay fever preventer medicines to avoid feeling miserable in a few weeks,” Mr Cooper said.
“On high or extreme pollen days it’s best for sensitive people to avoid exposure by staying in,” he added.
People in Adelaide are advised to adjust plans if their health could be impacted using the following guide.
Low: Continue as planned with normal asthma and hay fever preventative action.
Medium: Be cautious, avoid exposure where possible; always keep asthma reliever medication with you; ensure you are treating hay fever symptoms.
High: Be on alert: avoid exposure wherever possible and outdoor exercise; consider changing plans if they involve being outdoors; always keep asthma reliever medication with you; ensure you are treating hay fever symptoms. Close windows in the car and doors and windows at home to reduce pollen exposure.
Extreme: Be vigilant: avoid exposure by staying indoors with windows and doors closed; avoid outdoor exercise; ensure you are treating hay fever symptoms; turn air conditioning to recycle air, if available; always keep asthma reliever medication with you; follow your asthma action plan; call triple zero in case of an emergency.
For more information about managing asthma and allergies visit Asthma Australia
For more information:
Teresa Vella, PR Manager
0403 895 144 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
About Asthma Australia
Asthma Australia is a for-purpose, consumer organisation with a history of improving the lives of people with asthma. We operate across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory to deliver evidence-based prevention and health strategies to more than half a million people each year. Asthma Australia works in partnership with the Asthma Foundations of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. We work with people with asthma, their family and friends, health professionals, researchers and governments. We find the best treatments and practices to make sure life with asthma is the best it can be.