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Thunderstorm Asthma

  • Posted on Sep 12, 2017

Here’s something to watch for…Asthma flares as a result of a thunderstorm. And they can be deadly. This was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1983. Since then, it has been reported in Australia, Canada, Italy and the United States.

What is it?
During a thunderstorm, pollen grains are swept up, broken up and then forced down again. The grains are usually large and cannot make their way too far down into the lungs. Once they are ruptured, the allergens are smaller and can be inhaled far deeper into the bronchial tree. This can cause asthma symptoms in patients that have only had allergy symptoms (runny nose) in the past.  Obviously, if you have allergies and poorly controlled asthma, you are at high risk but if you have an unusually bad cough during a thunderstorm…experience shortness of breath or air hunger…get help. It could be serious.

In 2016, 8500 emergency asthma visits were attributed to thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne Australia. Nine people died.
And I thought the storm danger was just from lightening.

Dr Badaracco

 

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