Impact of the heatwave on people with asthma in the UK

We know that a lot of people are struggling with their asthma at the moment. Our Facebook and Twitter channels are full of people who are looking for advice or who have needed help managing their asthma this week and we've seen more calls to our Helpline from people experiencing asthma symptoms, warning that they could be at risk of an imminent attack. Last night more than 1,000 of our supporters told us how the heatwave had impacted on their asthma.

  • Almost a third of people we spoke to had had an asthma attack because of the heatwave (28.2%)
  • Almost three quarters have found their asthma had flared up as a result of the heatwave (72.2%)
  • More than a fifth had been forced to take time off work or study because of the heatwave (22.8%)
  • Almost half had avoided travelling at peak time in cities because of the heatwave (46.6%)

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said: "With thunderstorms now hitting large parts of the UK we are concerned that people with asthma will be at increased risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack. Storms cause high levels of mould and pollen spores to be swept up high into the air where the moisture breaks them into much smaller pieces. As they then settle back down, these smaller pieces can be breathed into the smaller airways of the lungs where they irritate the airway and trigger asthma symptoms. At the end of June 2005 alone, a six-fold rise in the number of emergency admissions for asthma was reported over one weekend as the result of thunderstorms. So people with asthma need to be extra vigilant and carry their reliever inhaler on them at all times."

For more information and advice on how to manage asthma symptoms and triggers, please call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 or go to

Because of the heatwave: YES NO TOTAL

Has your asthma flared up? 72.22% (876) 27.78% (337) 1,213

Are you using your reliever inhaler more? 73.25% (887) 26.75% (324) 1,211

Have you avoided going outside? 51.49% (621) 48.51% (585) 1,206

Are you scared of having an asthma attack? 56.50% (682) 43.50% (525) 1,207

Have you sought advice about managing your asthma? 41.06% (496) 58.94% (712) 1,208

Have you had an asthma attack? 28.18% (339) 71.82% (864) 1,203

Have you taken time off from work or study? 22.86% (272) 77.14% (918) 1,190

Have you avoided travelling at peak times in cities? 46.60% (555) 53.40% (636) 1,191

Have you had issues with your sleep? 72.76% (879) 27.24% (329) 1,208

Asthma UK Heatwave SurveyMonkey survey conducted between 5pm Wednesday 1 July and 10am Thursday 2 July 2015. Number of respondents: 1,217.