15 September 2021
Living in Regional Victoria brings with it greater exposure to grasses and pollens and can bring a seasonal increase in asthma and hayfever. It also brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma.
Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events are thought to be triggered by a unique combination of high grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm. Grass pollen grains get swept up in the wind and carried for long distances; some can burst open and release tiny particles that are concentrated in the wind gusts that come just before a thunderstorm. These particles are small enough to be breathed deep into the lungs and can rapidly trigger asthma symptoms, making it difficult to breathe.
This can become very severe, very quickly and many people may require medical help at the same time.
Thunderstorm asthma can affect those with asthma or hay fever – especially people who experience wheezing or coughing with their hay fever. That’s why it’s important for people with asthma or hay fever to know about thunderstorm asthma and what they can do to help protect themselves during grass pollen season.