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Smoke can trigger asthma

Smoke from the current prescribed burns can irritate airways and worsen asthma symptoms. The Asthma Foundation WA (AFWA) is providing advice for people with asthma to stay safe during the smoke haze.

AFWA Executive Director Tony Carter advised; 

‘Bushfire smoke contains harmful gases and fine particles that irritate sensitive airways in people with asthma and can cause an asthma flare-up.We are urging people with asthma to follow these simple steps below to minimise the effects of smoke, in particular the elderly and young asthma sufferers’.

• Where possible stay indoors, close all windows and doors, block or seal all air vents and use a filtered air conditioner to circulate air.

• If you cannot control or prevent smoke or particles entering your home, consider staying at a friends or visiting an air-conditioned shopping centre or premise where you will be exposed to less smoke.

• If you are driving, place your car air conditioner on ‘recycle’ to minimise smoke entering your car.

• Avoid doing physical activity outdoors while smoke is around.

• Continue using your asthma preventer medication as prescribed by your doctor.

• Be alert for asthma symptoms – difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness.

• Always have your asthma reliever medication (blue/grey puffer) with you, and use it as soon as you get symptoms to prevent them from getting worse. If available, use a spacer as it helps get more medication into your lungs.

• If your asthma reliever medication isn’t working, seek urgent medical advice.

For more information about bushfire smoke and asthma please visit: http://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/wa/about-asthma/manage-yourasthma/triggers/bushfires-and-asthma

Learn more about managing your asthma by speaking to an AFWA Asthma Educator via phone 1800 ASTHMA or email ask@asthmawa.org.au.

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