National Asthma Week 2019

5 Sep 2019

It is National Asthma Week, and GPs can access a suite of resources from the National Asthma Council to assist in patient asthma and allergy management.

As thunderstorm asthma season approaches, the three in four people with coexisting asthma and allergic rhinitis are at heightened risk of flare up due to increased triggers like grass and other pollens in the air.

Patients who have allergic rhinitis (both with and without known asthma), are sensitive to ryegrass pollen and those with poorly controlled asthma are the most susceptible to thunderstorm asthma and need to proactively manage their symptoms.

The National Asthma Council’s treatment guidelines – the Australian Asthma Handbook – outline prevention strategies for thunderstorm asthma including:

  • Year-round asthma control;
  • Preventive inhaled corticosteroid treatment;
  • Avoiding exposure to thunderstorms on days with high ryegrass pollen levels; and
  • Ensuring appropriate access to relievers during grass pollen season.

Resources to aid health professionals include the Allergic Rhinitis Treatment Chart, Thunderstorm Asthma Information Paper, and the Allergic Rhinitis Pad

Ryegrass pollen season – and its associated increased risk of thunderstorm asthma – occurs between October to December in south-eastern Australia. The National Asthma Council will show current pollen forecasts on its website from 1 October.