A POTENTIALLY lethal combination of thunderstorms and a high pollen count can combine to create thunder fever – a weather phenomenon that killed nine people in 2017.
Asthma sufferers are particularly at risk and have been warned to take precautions during stormy summer weather.
What is thunder fever?
In short, it’s a sort of extreme hay fever, or as Max Wiseberg, creator of HayMax allergen balm, said “upside down hay fever”.
Allergy sufferers, such as people with hay fever, are often at the mercy of the pollen count with high levels causing constant sneezing and eyes that water.
Spring thunderstorm weather can cause pollen grains to burst into tiny pieces and the wind then blows them around us.
When people breathe in the tiny pieces of pollen they can get deep inside the lungs and trigger an asthma attack.
How does if affect asthma sufferers?
That situation is worsened by thunderstorms, and asthma sufferers are especially affected.
This is because the air before a storm can feel very humid and close., with sufferers complaining of a tight chest and a cough, and that they find it harder to breathe.
During pollen season, the windy conditions during a thunderstorm blow lots of pollen high into the air.
Asthma charities have warned Brits should stay indoors with fears the weather conditions could be potentially fatal in rare cases.
The phenomenon has been dubbed “thunder fever” after nine people died from asthma attacks after thunderstorms tore across Melbourne, Australia, in 2017.
Sonia Munde of Asthma UK said an estimated 3.3million Brits had their asthma triggered by pollen.
She explained: “Thunderstorms can have a devastating impact on people with asthma and trigger an asthma attack which could be fatal.
“Humid, stormy conditions break the pollen into much smaller particles, which are then inhaled more deeply into the lungs and can lead to life-threatening asthma attacks.”
What precautions can asthma sufferers take?
- Always use your preventer medication as much as the doctor advised.
- Always carry an asthma inhaler.
- Keep up to date with pollen counts and weather forecasts during spring and early summer so you know of potential storms.
- Talk to you doctor to make sure your written asthma action plan is up to date and includes thunderstorm advice
- Avoid being outdoors just before and during thunderstorms, especially in wind gusts before the rain.
- Remain inside a building or car with the windows shut and the air conditioner switched to recirculate/ recycled.
- Wear sunglasses to stop the pollen getting into your eyes.
- Avoid drying your clothes outside when pollen levels are high. If you do, shake the items before bringing them inside or wearing them.
- Vacuum regularly and avoid bring fresh flowers indoors
- Brush pets if they have been outside as they can bring pollen inside on their fur
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/995257/thunder-fever-asthma-symptoms-precautions/