Get ready to energize your life?
Top Offers Only Today
Support your health and step-up your mental focus
post in: Beauty Date:11 Oct 2017, 13:36 views:2857
A phenomenon called 'thunderstorm asthma' caused a huge spike in calls to Ambulance Victoria on Monday, but what is it and how does it occur? Dr Megan Howden is a respiratory and sleep physician in Melbourne.
If you suffer from itchy eyes, a runny nose, headaches and excessive sneezing this time of year, youre certainly not alone. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to pollen and affects one in six Australians. But when you combine high pollen counts with thunderstorms and warm weather, a much more serious phenomenon can copd unfold: thunderstorm asthma attacks.
Grass pollen is usually too large to enter the small airways of the lungs and is filtered out by the nose, causing hay fever in those allergic to pollen.
Related reading, thunderstorm asthma deaths under spotlight, a review into the emergency service response to Melbourne's asthma thunderstorm will examine at least four deaths linked to the rare phenomenon. But stormy winds and moisture can cause the pollen to rupture into tiny particles, which are small enough to be inhaled.
The outflow winds of a thunderstorm then concentrate these tiny particles at ground level, where they can easily enter the small airways of the lungs and cause an acute asthma attack in those who are allergic to grass pollens. The symptoms of thunderstorm asthma can occur quickly and include shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. Who does it affect?
Thunderstorm asthma commonly affects young adults with a history of hay fever but not necessarily of asthma. And of those with a previous diagnosis of asthma, many claimed it wasnt severe enough to warrant preventer medication.
After the Wagga Wagga thunderstorm asthma epidemic in October 1997, researchers compared the data of those who experienced a thunderstorm asthma attack with those who had an asthma attack on other days of the year (the control group). The combination of high pollen counts and storms can trigger "thunderstorm asthma". They found that 95 per cent of those affected by thunderstorm asthma had a history of hay fever and 96 per cent tested positive to grass pollen allergies.