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Burn-offs, fires, and asthma

Burn-offs, fires, and asthma

Living in Australia, it’s inevitable that burn-offs will happen throughout spring before any fire-bans kicks in. This generally causes no problems, but for people with asthma who have airways that are more sensitive, it’s important to keep in mind that burn-offs (and fires) can be a cause of stress and anxiety.

According to Asthma Australia, the things that set off or start symptoms are called triggers, and every person with asthma may experience these ‘triggers’ differently. Some common triggers include cold and flu, dust mites, smoke, exercise, and pollen.

For asthma sufferers living in Australia, it’s important to keep this under control with the right preventer medicine along with understanding how to react if exposed to a certain trigger - like smoke from a burn-off or fire, or even pollen on a windy day. It’s also very important to be aware that a trigger can linger long after air pollution or fire threat has subsided.

To reduce exposure to smoke as much as possible, those with asthma should stay indoors with the windows closed and do as little outdoor activity as possible, along with using re-circulated air in the car. Anyone with asthma living in a high-risk fire zone should also include asthma management in their fire safety survival plan.

If you have any questions about your asthma and appropriate management of your symptoms, please book in for a consultation with your doctor.

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If you require medical assistance outside of our opening hours, please call Australian After Hours Doctors on 1300 466 337 between 6pm and 8am weekdays and 12pm Saturday until 8am Monday. This is a bulk-billed service available in Brisbane. For further details, please click here.

In a medical emergency, please call 000 and ask for an ambulance.