Sydney haze and asthma control. Make sure you’re breathing ok.

Sydney in a layer of bushfire haze

As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, it’s a little hazy outside.

Sydney has been blanketed in a visible (and very smellable) layer of haze from 78 bushfires burning on the mid north coast. And some of you may notice it is quite irritating. Not in that annoying way, but physically irritating your eyes, your nose and most likely your lungs.

NSW Health has advised people to curtail their outdoor activities, and to avoid being outdoors at all for people with asthma.

So what should you do if you have asthma?

Firstly, make sure you have your inhalers with you. If you use a salbutamol inhaler (the blue ones) make sure you have one with lots of doses still in it, and have a spacer to use it with.

Here’s a video on how to use one.

If you use a preventer, or a combined inhaler and you’re noticing you cough or wheezing more – you might need to start using this morning and night until things clear up.

It can be worth having an ‘Asthma Action Plan’ for situations like this, or for Thunderstorms in the drier climates like Melbourne and Adelaide, so you can manage despite changes in environmental triggers.

If you find that you are wheezing more, coughing more, finding yourself short of breath, or worried you’re developing asthma symptoms and you’ve never been diagnosed, book in to get checked out.

Using a tool called a spirometer, we can measure your lung function against expected benchmarks for height, and see if puffers make it better. This is a very reliable way to diagnose and monitor asthma.

Unhealthy air quality on the 31st of Oct 2019 in Sydney

Published by Dr Daniel Chanisheff on the 31st of October 2019