Thunderstorm asthma can come about due to grass and pollen in the air and the occurrence of thunderstorm conditions. As a thunderstorm forms, grains of pollen are drawn up into the clouds. The pollen absorbs water, swells and bursts open, spreading allergens to the ground where people can breathe them in.

Thunderstorm asthma can affect anyone, but usually affects more of those with asthma or hay fever, especially those who experience wheezing or coughing. It can come on suddenly and can be serious or potentially life-threatening.

When does thunderstorm asthma occur?

Thunderstorm asthma usually starts affecting people in the windy period before the rain starts, mainly in the spring and early summer. For more information on forecasting the risk of thunderstorm asthma, you can visit this link here.

What can you do?

  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about an action plan and things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Try to stay inside, closing windows during thunderstorms from October to December, especially when you notice wind gusts picking up before a storm.

  • Don’t ignore symptoms of asthma, including wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing.

  • Be familiar with the four steps of asthma first aid.

How to prepare?

To make sure you're prepared ahead of time, make sure your written asthma plan is up to date and that you're taking your asthma medicines as prescribed by your doctor. It's also a good idea to ensure you stay up to date with pollen counts and weather forecasts.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app to connect to our team of qualified, caring health professionals.

Information sourced from: National Asthma Council and Better Health Channel.

Image credit: Tasos Mansour on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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