MILLIONS of asthma sufferers are being urged to stay indoors as thunderstorms in parts of the UK could trigger potentially deadly asthma attacks.
The glorious heatwave we’ve seen over the last week is set to be interrupted with rain and thunderstorms in some areas.
The Met Office is predicting isolated thunderstorms in parts of the south east today, with torrential rain and even hail predicted for some areas.
Storms mixed with a high pollen count across the country create the perfect condition for asthma attacks – dubbed thunder fever.
Asthma charities have even warned Brits should stay indoors while thunderstorms are expected, with fears the weather conditions could be potentially fatal in rare cases.
Sonia Munde of Asthma UK said an estimated 3.3million Brits had their asthma triggered by pollen, explaining: “Thunderstorms can have a devastating impact on people with asthma and trigger an asthma attack which could be fatal.
“Humid, stormy conditions break the pollen into much smaller particles, which are then inhaled more deeply into the lungs and can lead to life-threatening asthma attacks.”
She advised people to ensure they had their medication on hand over the weekend to relieve their symptoms.
Allergy UK nurse advisor Holly Shaw warned that higher pollen counts could cause thunder storm asthma, saying that the fine particles could easily make their way deep into a person’s lungs, causing inflammation and irritation.
She said: “When weather patterns change, we see humid and stormy conditions, it is concerning for people with hay fever and asthma.”
June saw the start of the grass pollen season, with record breaking levels of pollen recorded across the country.
Grass pollen is currently at an all-time high in the UK last week, with more than half the country hit by the highest pollen rating possible on Sunday.
The long winter and recent rain followed by warmer weather is the “worst case scenario” for sufferers, making pollen more prevalent, experts have warned.
Pollen counts have remained “very high” in most of the UK for weeks.
Dr Jean Emberlin, an allergy expert who works with Opticrom Hayfever Eyedrops, said it was the first time since 1976 that pollen counts had lasted at such a high count across the UK for three weeks.
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The best thing to do to protect yourself from thunder fever is to stay indoors and take your prescribed asthma medication, Sonia said.
“People with asthma who struggle with pollen should try to stay indoors with the windows closed during thunderstorms,” she explained.
“They should also take hay fever medicines, such as antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays, and make sure they take their preventer inhaler as prescribed.
“These will help to relieve their symptoms and reduce their risk of an asthma attack.”
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