Following the NSW Premier declaring a seven-day State of Emergency due to the devastating bushfires, and the expected extreme weather predictions over the coming week, Asthma Australia is advising people with asthma to be vigilant.

Asthma Australia’s CEO Michele Goldman says smoke from vegetation fires is a common trigger for asthma, which can cause asthma exacerbations (known as ‘flare ups’), and it is associated with increased emergency department visits and hospital admissions.

“People can breathe better in smoky weather by following a number of steps whenever possible, but if you experience any asthma symptoms and these persist seek medical care or in an emergency call 000 (triple zero),” Ms Goldman said.

Breathe better in smoky weather by:

  1. Taking your preventer medication every day when well. Preventer medication can take time to take effect, so it’s important to take the preventative step of regularly taking your preventer medication.
  2. Ensuring you have in date reliever mediation and keep this on hand. Make sure there is medicine in your reliever too. Remember, each canister contains approximately 200 doses.
  3. Following your written Asthma Action Plan. If you don’t have a written Asthma Action Plan, visit your doctor to have one completed.
  4. Staying indoors and closing all windows and doors when smoke is in the air, but a fire is not directly threatening you.
  5. Using an air conditioner on recycle if available.
  6. Closing windows and using your air conditioner on recycle if travelling in the car.
  7. Avoiding physical activity outdoors.
  8. Moving to a public air-conditioned space such as a library or shopping centre if smoke is too intense at home.
  9. Knowing the four steps for asthma first aid and what to do in an asthma emergency
  10. Keeping up to date with emergency service alerts and advice in your local area.

For more information on asthma and smoke click here.