We are on the tail end of what has been a terrible flu season and now we're about to head into hayfever season.
Get your tissues and inhaler ready because Victoria is set for higher pollen count in the air today. This means hayfever and asthma sufferers should be prepared.
Emergency services are flagging that it's important to know the early warning signs for when hayfever or asthma is setting in particularly during thunderstorms.
Melbourne is know for its ever changing weather and we've become a hotspot for thunderstorm asthma, due to the city’s high rainfall and subsequent winds that stir up pollen in the spring.
St John Ambulance Victoria Chief Executive, Gordon Botwright says "Thunderstorm asthma is a particular threat for those who already suffer from hayfever or asthma, but during the 2016 storms, 40% of people who were struck by thunderstorm asthma were not diagnosed asthmatics. It’s important to recognise when simple hayfever symptoms turn in to an asthma emergency.”
St John Ambulance has issued the following tips to help those suffering as Spring sets in.
1. Know the 4x4x4 method.
- Give 4 separate puffs of an inhaler (with spacer if available)
- Wait 4 minutes - Take 4 breaths, if there is no improvement give another 4 puffs
- If there is no improvement call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance
- Keep giving 4 puffs every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives
2. Have an asthma or hayfever action plan. Head to your local pharmacy and ask about treatments that can ease symptoms should you develop them.
3. Keep up to date with the weather conditions. You can check the pollen count for the day on the website for the Bureau of Meteorology.
4. Stay indoors. As there is no real cure for asthma, those affected should focus on avoiding triggers particularly in the event of a storm.
5. Get First Aid training
While it's lovely that Spring is finally coming into bloom, remember to be prepared and keep a look out on the daily pollen count.