Managing asthma in the hay fever and thunderstorm season

  • Woman about to sneeze

Photo: National Asthma Council Australia

Siobhan Brophy
National Asthma Council Australia

The first week of September not only heralds the beginning of spring but also marks the start of National Asthma Week, which shines a spotlight on a chronic condition affecting more than 2.7 million Australians.

Spring can bring fresh challenges for many people with asthma, with three in four also affected by allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

Caused by an allergy to substances in the air, poorly managed allergic rhinitis can make asthma more difficult to control and when experienced together typically leads to more hospital visits and time off work or school than for those with asthma alone.

This year, in a bid to bring relief to those with allergic rhinitis and asthma, the National Asthma Council Australia has released a new resource for primary health care professionals, the Allergic Rhinitis Pad.

Drawing on guidance from Australia’s national asthma treatment guidelines (the Australian Asthma Handbook) and other evidence-based publications from the Asthma Council, the pad consists of tailored tear-off patient plans detailing allergic rhinitis treatment recommendations as well as technique instructions and tips.

Not only is this a helpful tool for GPs developing allergic rhinitis treatment plans for patients with asthma, it also helps pharmacists provide patients with the medication and products they need to manage their allergic rhinitis appropriately.

For people with a pollen allergy, keeping their allergic rhinitis under control is crucial to good asthma management as spring thunderstorms can cause asthma flare-ups, especially in patients who are allergic to grass pollens and who have asthma that’s not well controlled or managed effectively using regular preventer medication.

While south-eastern Australia’s grass pollen season is in spring and early summer, other parts of Australia can have pollen in the air year-round, which means effective treatment for allergic rhinitis is an important part of asthma management at any time of year.

As the latest addition in the National Asthma Council Australia’s suite of asthma and allergy resources for health professionals, the pad complements the Allergic Rhinitis Treatment Chart, your guide to the main intranasal treatment options available in Australia, and our information paper exploring the clinical interrelationship between asthma and allergic rhinitis.

National Asthma Council Australia also provides resources for consumers via its how-to video library which includes nasal spray and irrigation demonstrations, plus a detailed patient brochure.

Development of the new resource was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Care Pharmaceuticals. The National Asthma Council Australia maintained strict editorial independence.

Download your copy of the Allergic Rhinitis Pad online or ask your Care Pharmaceuticals representatives for a hard copy today.


Comment Count

Add new comment