NHS urges asthmatics and hay fever sufferers to plan ahead as thunderstorms expected to hit East of England

NHS urges asthmatics and hay fever sufferers to plan ahead as thunderstorms expected to hit East of England image

Home » NHS urges asthmatics and hay fever sufferers to plan ahead as thunderstorms expected to hit East of England

The NHS is urging people with asthma and who suffer from hay fever to plan ahead as heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected to hit the East of England on Sunday (18 June 2023).

Some 1400 people attended hospital last weekend with asthma symptoms following the heavy storms and recent scientific data shows that asthma and hay fever symptoms can be triggered by what clinicians are calling ‘Thunderstorm Asthma’.

While many people will experience symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes, some people may experience a worsening of asthma symptoms, chest pain and difficulty in breathing.

Sarah Stanley, Chief Nursing Director, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said:

“We are encouraging people with hay fever, and particularly those that are living with asthma, to be prepared and take their allergy treatments and medications to control their symptoms ahead of rain and thunderstorms which are expected this weekend.

“ With hospitals in our area experiencing significant pressure at the moment, we are asking everyone to make sure they have enough antihistamines and take them as directed. If your chest symptoms are serious enough for you to require one, make sure you have a well-stocked inhaler too.

While most people can manage their symptoms at home, if you experience severe breathing difficulties or suspect an asthma attack, you should seek medical assistance immediately.”

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board is urging all members of the public, but especially those in at-risk groups, to plan by:

  • Keeping pollen at bay: keeping your windows closed and changing your clothes after being outside can help to keep pollen out of your home. If you suffer from hay fever, take antihistamines to reduce the level of symptoms.
  • Know your inhalers: ensuring that you take your asthma steroid preventer regularly if you have been prescribed one. The blue inhaler can be used as needed if you have difficulty breathing.
  • Carry essential medication: always have your blue inhaler with you, even if your asthma symptoms are well-controlled. In case of an asthma attack or sudden onset of symptoms during a thunderstorm, quick access to medication can be lifesaving.

For more information and guidance on managing asthma, please visit the NHS website.

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