Asthma risk soars as smoke from bushfires spreads
THE struggle experienced by asthmatics can escalate during bushfire season.
Smoke is one of the most common triggers of asthma for people with the condition, and Gladstone pharmacist Madeline Orange said it was important to have a sufficient supply of relievers and preventers at this time of year.
"It's also a good idea to have an asthma action plan from a doctor," she said.
"This will outline what you need to do if you have an asthma attack, and which puffers to use whether it be preventers or relievers," she said.
She advised if you are exposed to wood smoke during a bushfire, stay inside, unless ordered otherwise and close all windows and doors.
Dr Gaston Boulanger, of BITS Medical Centre, explained the problem was caused by tiny particles from wood smoke going deep into the lungs irritating the airways.
"It can make it very hard to breathe, so it's very important that people with asthma understand these triggers and how they can cope with them," Dr Boulanger said.
Dr Boulanger said there were two basic medications for asthma sufferers, but they needed to understand how to use them.
"If there are fires, they need to be proactive and use their preventer," he said.
Current information on the status of bushfires can be found on the Rural Fire Service website, http://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.