‘Toxic cocktail' of hot, humid weather and rising pollen levels could trigger deadly asthma attacks, warns charity

For immediate release: Monday 22 July 2019

A mini-heatwave in Britain this week means it could feel as hot as 111F (44 C) due to soaring temperatures arrive accompanied by sticky humid air. Public Health England (PHE) has issued a level-2 ‘alert and readiness’. Dr Andy Whittamore, Clinical Lead at Asthma UK and a practising GP, says:

“A toxic cocktail of hot humid weather and rising pollen levels this week could be extremely hazardous for the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma, triggering deadly asthma attacks. Hot air and hay fever can cause people’s airways to narrow, leaving them struggling to breathe, with symptoms like coughing, wheezing, a tight chest and breathlessness. Hot weather can also increase the amount of pollutants, pollen and mould in the air which can trigger asthma symptoms.

“If you are worried about the weather or hay fever affecting your asthma, make sure you take your hay fever medicines, carry your blue reliever inhaler at all times and keep taking your regular preventer as prescribed by your doctor. We’d advise you to drink lots of water to prevent dehydration and plan any outdoor activities for earlier in the day when the air quality tends to be better and follow our top tips at www.asthma.org.uk/pollen.”