South West bushfires causing an increase in asthma sufferers

South West bushfires causing an increase in asthma sufferers

13 November 2013

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Australia — SOUTH West asthma sufferers are encouraged to update their asthma plan during this burn off and spring season.

A recent report said bushfire smoke in conjunction with hayfever season have caused an increase in asthma attacks.

The National Asthma Council Australia have urged Australians with asthma in or close to bushfire areas to prepare their asthma action plans early.

Asthma is a disease of the airways which causes sufferers breathing to feel constricted as there is less space for the air to flow in and out of the lungs.

Spring sees an increase in allergens, pollens and in combination with the prescribed bushfire smoke, the tiny airborne particles released can go into the lungs and irritate the airways.

Dunsborough Pharmacist Bonny Foley said asthma was a serious medical condition and if left untreated could cause permanent damage to the airways.

“Having an asthma action plan gives individual’s information on the management of their asthma including what to do when their condition worsens and when they should contact with doctor or emergency department,” she said.

Ms Foley said they were also a great resource to supply to a child’s caretaker, school or babysitter.

Medical media personality and doctor Dr John D’Arcy is also reminding locals to update and follow their asthma management plans.

“Adults should update their asthma action plans every year, more regularly if their asthma is severe, and children should have their asthma plans updated every six months,” the Sunrise and Sunday Night medical presenter said.

Along with an updated asthma action plan asthma sufferers are encouraged to have a reliever on hand at all times and to stay inside if possible when smoke is circulating.

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