Asthma is a problem that is not always associated with summer and hot weather, but the bushfires that we inevitably suffer from each summer will often contaminate our air with smoke and debris from both bushfires and backburning operations.
The pharmacists at UFS all notice an increase in patients who attend the pharmacy for asthma medication whenever there is smoke in the air. It is also very common for patients who have reduced the use of preventer medication because the associate their asthma symptoms with winter conditions to have flare-ups in summer because of smoke.
We advise all patients with asthma to ensure that they are sticking with their asthma plans (and if they don’t have an asthma plan, to make sure they get one) to ensure they don’t get caught out by sudden smokey weather.
It is also very important to make sure that our bushfire plans take into account family medical conditions – it is even more important for asthma because in an emergency bushfire situation, heavy smoke will cause serious problems for asthmatic patients so make sure you have relievers hand in the event that the family has to flee.
One suggestion may be to keep a spare reliever with the bushfire kit, because the last thing you need if evacuating is to be searching for puffers in a panic situation.
Relievers are available over the counter at all UFS stores.