Tuesday 28 May 2019
Responding to reports of hot weather and widespread thunderstorms across the UK this weekend, Dr Andy Whittamore, GP and Clinical Lead at Asthma UK, said:
“The deadly combination of hot weather, widespread thunderstorms and rising levels of grass pollen this weekend could put more than 3 million people with asthma at risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack.* When pollen is in the air it can inflame people’s airways, triggering asthma symptoms. Stormy weather can make it worse as it breaks the pollen into much smaller particles, which are then inhaled more deeply into the lungs.
“If you have asthma and are already noticing more symptoms because of hay fever, such as coughing, a tight chest or breathlessness, make sure you keep your blue reliever inhaler with you at all times. Take hay fever medicines and your preventer inhaler (usually brown) as prescribed and get advice from www.asthma.org.uk/pollen.”
*This was from Falling Through the Gaps: Why more people need basic asthma care, whichincluded a survey of 7,611 people with asthma across the UK. 61.6% of people surveyed said pollen triggered their asthma, and we applied this proportion to the population of the UK with asthma (5.4 million) to achieve the 3.3 million figure.