Preparing for asthma season

Paul Hayes

4/09/2019 11:56:02 AM

Experts are urging doctors to check patients for asthma and allergic rhinitis ahead of ‘pollen season’.

‘People who have allergic rhinitis, are sensitive to ryegrass pollen, or have poorly controlled asthma are at heightened risk,’ National Asthma Council CEO Siobhan Brophy said.

National Asthma Council Chief Executive Siobhan Brophy believes it is crucial for healthcare professionals, including GPs, to inform patients about the connection between allergic rhinitis and asthma, particularly in light of thunderstorm asthma risks.
‘People who have allergic rhinitis, either with or without known asthma, are sensitive to ryegrass pollen, or [who] have poorly controlled asthma are at heightened risk of a flare-up during storms in spring and need to proactively manage their symptoms,’ Ms Brophy said.
‘Health professionals can help patients keep their symptoms under control by reviewing their asthma and allergy management, and making sure written asthma action plans are up to date.’
According to the Australian Asthma Handbook, prevention of thunderstorm asthma is based on:

  • year-round asthma control
  • preventive inhaled corticosteroid treatment
  • avoiding exposure to thunderstorms on days with high ryegrass pollen levels
  • ensuring appropriate access to relievers during grass pollen season.
The RACGP’s ‘Emergency planning and response in general practice factsheet: Thunderstorm asthma’ is available on the college website. The National Asthma Council has a number of resources designed to help healthcare professionals:

asthma National Asthma Week thunderstorm asthma


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Chris Hogan   5/09/2019 1:27:36 PM

Please be aware that many of the asthma experts are GPs themselves