Last updated on 23/12/2019

Adelaide: Asthma Australia advice to manage poor air quality

Due to bushfire smoke air quality is very poor in Adelaide today. The health of people with asthma and pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions are most at high-risk as well as babies, pregnant women and people over 65 years.

Symptoms of asthma or breathing difficulties include: shortness of breath; coughing; tightening of the chest and wheezing. If you can’t talk in full sentences, you need to seek medical attention and commence Asthma First Aid.

Asthma Australia strongly encourages the community to take whatever means possible to avoid exposure to the smoke.

  • Seek out a clean air shelter or build one in your home
  • If using a facemask ensure its p2 / N95 and has a tight seal around your nose and face

People with asthma are being advised to:

  • Keep asthma rescue emergency medication at hand
  • Follow your Asthma Action Plan for worsening symptoms
  • Use Asthma First Aid if symptoms do not improve
  • Seek immediate medical attention or call Triple 0 in an emergency

Bushfire smoke contains high concentrations of PM2.5 which is causing hazardous levels of air pollution.

These very fine particles penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the blood stream causing systemic effects on respiratory, cardiovascular systems and other organs. People who have not experienced breathing difficulty before, could experience symptoms.

For people with asthma, PM2.5 irritates the lining of the airway causing inflammation (swelling) and extra mucus to be produced causing the airways to narrow and resulting in an asthma flare up.

View Air Quality readings on the SA EPA site here.

For any support or information regarding asthma, call us on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) to speak with an Asthma Educator.