Ron Rev Fenomeno – Pixabay

Thunderstorm season is hitting hard and fast across Australia and warnings are out for the high risk of asthma attacks.

Rural doctors are urging all at-risk patients to make sure they have enough medication to hand and get up to date with their Asthma Plan.

Are you prepared?

‘Severe asthma attacks can crop up quickly and if you don’t have the right preventatives and relievers to hand, this can literally cost you your life,’ said Dr John Hall, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).

‘If you are an asthma sufferer, please check the status of your puffers. Make sure you have them with you, and they are in-date.

‘If you are supposed to be using a preventative and have let this lapse over the winter when your asthma is less of a problem, now is the time to get this back into your daily routine,’ he said.

Ventolin puffer – Inspired Images/Pixabay

According to Dr Hall, ‘The risk of thunderstorm asthma is highest in adults who are sensitive to grass pollen and have seasonal hay fever (with or without known asthma).

‘The worst outcomes are seen in people with poorly controlled asthma.’

He said spring is the perfect time to make an appointment with your rural GP to discuss your plan, find out if there are any better or more appropriate treatments out there for your condition, and update your asthma scripts.

RDAA President Dr John Hall

Key things to do during pollen season

  • Stay indoors whenever possible during the peak of the season, on windy days and during thunderstorms.
  • Maintain good air quality indoors, including when you’re driving your car. Use recirculated air in the car when pollen levels are high.
  • Avoid activities that you know will increase your exposure to pollens that you are allergic to, such as mowing the grass.
  • Shower after outdoor activities when there are high levels of pollen.


Dr John Hall urged Australians to ‘never ignore asthma symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Start Asthma First Aid immediately and call Triple Zero (000) for help if symptoms do not get any better or if they start to get worse.

‘But remember your first port of call to help manage your asthma is to visit your local rural doctor to make a plan to help keep you and your loved ones safe,’ said Dr Hall.