Last updated on 22/03/2022

Anyone with a breathing condition, including asthma, should take extra precautions, including staying indoors with doors and windows closed, to avoid smoky air in Melbourne, advises Asthma Australia. 

Air quality dropped to ‘poor’ overnight and has since and has been sitting at ‘fair’ for certain suburbs of the Victorian capital due to various hazard reduction burn-offs, with more scheduled in the coming weeks. 

People with breathing difficulties, especially with asthma, are advised to keep asthma medication and inhalers nearby and treat any symptoms immediately by following their Asthma Action Plan. 

“Smoke is a common trigger for those with asthma, causing irritation in the chest and eyes, coughing, difficulty breathing, and it’s vital that those triggers are avoided as best as possible, by staying inside,” Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman said. 

“Anyone with ongoing worries from smoke should phone us to speak with an Asthma Educator on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462). 

People most at risk of health impacts caused by smoke include: 

  • People with a breathing or heart condition 
  • The elderly 
  • Young babies and children 
  • Pregnant women  

Symptoms of asthma feel like a shortness of breath, a tight chest, coughing, wheezing or getting puffed easily. 

Our friendly Asthma Educators are here to help you manage your asthma so it doesn’t hold you back, especially in times like this,” said Ms Goldman. 

Anyone experiencing serious breathing difficulties, please call triple zero or contact your health professional. 

Asthma Australia provides a vital service for those with breathing difficulties, having assisted with important advice and support during past bushfires crises, as well as the recent flooding and heavy rains through southeast Queensland, northern New South Wales and Sydney. 

Here is a link to first aid procedures for asthma flareups: http://asthma.org.au/treatment-diagnosis/asthma-first-aid/ 

Forest Fire Management Victoria operates an ongoing planned fuel reduction burn program. To search for planned burns in your suburb visit: https://plannedburns.ffm.vic.gov.au/ 

The Asthma Australia 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) is provided free to the public by Asthma Australia, operating from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday or via email support@asthma.org.au