• kids eating
  • kids side
  • girls
  • track
  • kids run
  • New resources for patients at risk
  • kids food
  • mother1 daughter
  • kids leaning
  • mother kids
  • kids computing

Information updates

Thunderstorm asthma epidemic

Dec 9, 2016

The recent thunderstorm asthma epidemic in Melbourne and its tragic consequences highlight the need for more research, education and awareness in this area.

Thunderstorm asthma is thought to be triggered by thunderstorms that have rapid changes in wind, temperature and humidity, which cause pollen grains to absorb moisture, burst open and release large amounts of small pollen allergen particles that can penetrate deep into the small airways of the lung.   

Not everyone affected by Australian thunderstorm asthma epidemics has had thunderstorm asthma before. However, they have usually had severe allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and have been found to be allergic to ryegrass pollen.

If you have allergic rhinitis or asthma triggered by pollen:

  • Try to avoid being outside on high pollen days, particularly during windy days and thunderstorms (which are common in spring); and
  • See your pharmacist and/or doctor to check that you are being appropriately treated, with preventer medications. 

It is important to note that:

  • Not all thunderstorms, even on days with high pollen counts, trigger thunderstorm asthma
  • Other weather factors are involved in thunderstorm asthma
  • It is not only people with pollen allergy who may be affected by thunderstorm asthma
  • Other allergens such as fungal spores, massive humidity and temperature changes over a short period can also affect some people with asthma and other respiratory diseases during a thunderstorm

Further information on thunderstorm is available at:

www.allergy.org.au/patients/asthma-and-allergy/thunderstorm-asthma 

https://theconversation.com/keeping-one-step-ahead-of-pollen-triggers-for-thunderstorm-asthma-69408 

AusPollen Apps are available at www.pollenforecast.com.au and these aim to provide accurate and easily accessible information on local pollen counts.  Completion of a short questionnaire https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/187809/5405/ will help the AusPollen research team to evaluate usefulness of the apps and how the service can be improved. This research is funded by NHMRC Partnership Project GNT1116107 and co-sponsorship from partner organisations, including ASCIA and AIFA. 

 

 

Disclaimer and Privacy

The ASCIA website is intended for use by ASCIA members, other health professionals, the general public and media. The content provided is for education, communication and information purposes only and is not intended to replace or constitute medical advice or treatments. Read more...

ASCIA respects your privacy. Read our privacy policy here...

 

Sponsors and Advertising

ASCIA does not endorse products from sponsoring organisations, nor is it influenced by sponsoring organisations with regard to the content of education programs and websites.

The ASCIA website does not accept advertising. Any link to a third-party website does not imply any endorsement by ASCIA.

Accreditation

healthdirect
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the
HONcode standard for
trustworthy health
 information.

Verify here.