Get on top of asthma and hay fever this spring

Oct. 28, 2021

Grass pollen season brings the chance of epidemic thunderstorm asthma.

Grass pollen season (1 October – 31 December) brings an increased risk of asthma and hay fever. It also brings the chance of epidemic thunderstorm asthma.

For people with asthma or hay fever, especially those who experience wheezing or coughing with their hay fever, thunderstorm asthma can be sudden, serious and even life threatening.

Don’t put off talking to your doctor to manage your asthma or hay fever and avoid storms and the wind gusts that precede them.

This spring it is more important than ever to proactively manage your hay fever and asthma. Hay fever or asthma can produce symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, such as a runny nose, cough or shortness of breath. While good management of asthma or hay fever can help control these symptoms, it is critical to still get tested for COVID-19 if these are different to your usual symptoms, or they have restarted after a period of absence, or if it is unclear whether they are due to your hay fever or asthma.

Controlling your hay fever or asthma symptoms will make you feel better and help you more easily recognise COVID-19 symptoms, so you can get tested, isolate sooner and protect yourself and your community.

Wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene remains critical as people who are sneezing and coughing from their hay fever or asthma may produce more droplets. If they have COVID-19, they may unknowingly spread it to others.

If you have asthma or hay fever, or experience asthma or hay fever symptoms, talk to your doctor and make sure you have an up to date asthma action plan or hay fever treatment plan and know the 4 steps of asthma first aid.

Find out more about thunderstorm asthma and how to protect yourself at:

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/thunderstorm-asthma

signs-of-thunderstorm-asthma-infographic

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