Grass pollen season runs between October to December. During this time people may notice an increase in asthma and hay fever. It also brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma.
Thunderstorm asthma is thought to be triggered by a unique combination of high amounts of grass pollen in the air and a certain type of thunderstorm. For people who have asthma or hay fever this can trigger severe asthma symptoms.
When a large number of people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, related to high grass pollen and a certain type of thunderstorm, it is known as epidemic thunderstorm asthma.
If you have current, past or undiagnosed asthma or seasonal hay fever you are at increased risk of thunderstorm asthma. So be prepared to manage any symptoms and stay out of hospital.
You can protect yourself and those in your care by following these simple steps:
Find out more on the Better Health Channel.
You can also monitor air quality at the Environmental Protection Authority's AirWatch.
Better Health Channel also has fact sheets on thunderstorm asthma.