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Victorians who suffer with hay fever or are ‘wheezy’ urged to be aware of thunderstorm asthma risk

Medical experts are encouraging Victorians who feel “wheezy” or suffer with hay fever to be wary as the pollen season begins and the risk increases of thunderstorm asthma.

From today, Victorians can check the forecast online which measures high risk days.

To check the forecast for thunderstorm asthma, click here

Experts are urging those who sneeze or wheeze from grass pollen, to get tested for asthma.

In 2016, Victoria experienced the worst thunderstorm asthma event ever recorded, contributing to the deaths of 10 people. Hundreds of others were hospitalised with respiratory illnesses.

Professor Jo Douglass, the head of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, told Ross and John Victorians should seek medical advice if they feel wheezy.

She said there could be people in the community who have undiagnosed asthma.

“We know that asthma is more common in people with hay fever, and that hayfever can trigger asthma,” she told Ross and John.

“People often think when they wheeze it’s hay fever, in fact it’s asthma as well.

“We want people to notice that. Hay fever in the spring time particular in Melbourne can be dangerous, because that event of 2016 was unprecedented.”

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