Rising pollen could lead to life-threatening attacks in asthma patients this weekend according to a charity.
Asthma and Lung UK stated that more than 3 million UK citizens have asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). They are also at high risk for flare-ups or attacks.
The charity advises people to make sure they continue to use their preventer and reliever inhalers. Other tips are to stay indoors during high pollen days, and keep an eye out for weather forecasts so you can check them.
Pollen can trigger symptoms such as a tight chest, wheezing and breathlessness in more than half of people living with asthma (59%) and more than a quarter of those living with COPD, according to research from the charity. Allergies may cause the airways to become tighter and sticky, which can make it difficult to breathe.
Asthma attacks are often fatal. Around four people die from them every day in the UK.
Dr Andy Whittamore is the clinical lead for Asthma and Lung UK. He said that when pollen levels rise, it can cause severe symptoms and even life-threatening asthma attacks. These attacks can make it difficult for people to breathe, and can cause severe symptoms. However, there are ways they can take care of themselves.
“Using your preventer inhalers as prescribed is important as the medicine reduces sensitivity and swelling in the airways, helping to prevent symptoms such as wheezing and coughing before they even start.
“We also advise people to carry their reliever inhalers every day, especially when they are out and about enjoying the sunshine in case pollen does cause a flare-up of their symptoms.
“Reliever Inhalers instantly relax muscles and relieve symptoms. The third option is to apply steroid nasal sprays every day along with non-drowsy antihistamine pills to stop allergic reactions.
“People should also check pollen and air pollution forecasts in their local area, so they can avoid going outdoors as much as possible on high pollen days.”