It's important for people with asthma or other lung conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to be prepared for the adverse effects of bushfires and extreme weather events, such as asthma thunderstorms.
In a recent interview in Your Life Choices Magazine, the Woolcock's Professor Bandana Saini provided a checklist on how to protect yourself from any sudden changes in climatic conditions.
Summertime checklist for avoiding asthma and respiratory attacks
✓ Stay on your preventer medication as prescribed by your doctor
✓ Make sure you're using your inhaler correctly
✓ Refresh your inhaler technique with your pharmacist or doctor
✓ Get an asthma review from your doctor every six to twelve months
✓ Check public health advice for warnings of events like asthma thunderstorms or bushfires
✓ Keep an eye on the pollen count in your area
Act on bad days
✓ Stay indoors
✓ If you do have to go out, make sure you wear a good mask – N95 masks are good
"It's important that people with asthma or other lung conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are a bit wary about what's happening around them," Bandana says.
"If you have asthma, a very good way to prevent terrible flare-ups happening due to the weather is to ensure you're using a preventative inhaler, as prescribed by your doctor, and that you're using your inhaler correctly."
"Inhalers are difficult to use. It's tricky making sure you get the most out of your inhaler. And that's where your pharmacist can be very helpful. Drop in and see your pharmacist and ask them 'Can you check how I'm using my inhaler?'. Your pharmacist can help you with anything you might not be doing well."