It’s important for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions to be prepared when dust storms are forecast in their area. High levels of dust can irritate the lungs and cause an asthma attack.
The stress from a severe weather event can also cause anxiety which can trigger asthma symptoms.
Things to remember
- Dust storms bring increased air pollution which irritate lungs and cause breathing problems in people with asthma
- The longer you’re exposed, the greater chance of getting symptoms
- Children and older people are most at risk of breathing problems
- Symptoms can stay around for days after a dust storm
Dust storm asthma plan
People with asthma should take the following steps to reduce the effects of dust storms on their health:
- Stay indoors with windows, doors and air vents closed
- Stay in air-conditioning if possible. If you have an air conditioner, switch it to “recycle” or “recirculate” to reduce the amount of dust getting into your home
- Take your preventer medication as directed
- Avoid doing a lot of exercise outdoors
- Follow your written asthma action plan
First Aid for Asthma
If asthma symptoms occur:
- Follow your personal asthma action plan
- If you don’t have an asthma action plan, take 4 separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever
- If the symptoms aren’t going away or are getting worse, then follow the steps in First Aid for Asthma
If you’re worried about your asthma, visit your doctor. If you are experiencing wheezing, chest tightness or are finding it hard to breathe seek urgent medical assistance.
Information contained in this brochure is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a doctor.