Following the expected extreme weather predictions over the coming days, Asthma Australia is advising people with asthma to be vigilant.
Asthma Australia’s CEO Michele Goldman says dust and poor air-quality 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 dusty and windy 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.
With 13% of South Australians living with asthma, including a large population of children, it’s important people are vigilant with their asthma management, know how to spot the symptoms and know what to do in an asthma emergency.
Breathe better in dusty conditions by:
- 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.
- 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.
- Following your written Asthma Action Plan. If you don’t have a written Asthma Action Plan, visit your doctor to have one completed.
- Staying indoors and closing all windows and doors when dust is in the air.
- Using an air conditioner on recycle if available.
- Closing windows and using your air conditioner on recycle if travelling in the car.
- Avoiding physical activity outdoors.
- Moving to a public air-conditioned space such as a library or shopping centre if dust is too intense at home.
- Knowing the four steps for asthma first aid and what to do in an asthma emergency http://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/how-we-can-help/first-aid/
- Keeping up to date with emergency service alerts and advice in your local area.
Even while on asthma preventer medication asthma can flare-up, including mild asthma. People are more at risk of severe flare-ups if preventer medications aren’t taken as prescribed. People with hay fever and asthma should take extra precaution on windy days and ensure they are managing hay fever symptoms alongside their asthma.
For more information on asthma and dust visit the Asthma Australia website. We also encourage people to keep an eye on the South Australia Bureau of Meteorology for up to date warnings.