Most people with hay fever will feel their normal symptoms, like sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. However, hay fever can cause asthma symptoms to worsen and these weather conditions can cause even mild symptoms to become severe (such as difficulty breathing and chest tightening). So it is important to be prepared and take your allergy treatments and medications to control symptoms.
If you haven’t got anything to help manage your symptoms and you experience difficulty breathing and tightness in your chest, make sure you seek medical help without delay.
During stormy weather, we recommend the following for people with hay fever or asthma:
- If you can, stay indoors before, during and after the storm and try to keep the windows closed
- If outdoors wear a mask to reduce your pollen exposure
- Avoid any triggers that you think may make your asthma symptoms worse (e.g. exercise or alcohol)
- Take your usual medication (such as along acting and non-sedating anti-histamine) – even if you don’t yet feel symptoms worsening. If you’re not sure what medicine will help you, speak to your pharmacist or GP
- Keep a reliever inhaler with you so it’s ready to use if you need it
- Have an asthma action plan that can be referred to help identify when asthma is deteriorating. This can act as a warning sign to step up medication and understand how to treat an asthma attack
- If you have never had a diagnosis of asthma, but feel very tight in the chest and have difficulty breathing seek urgent medical advice
For more information about hay fever and asthma, take a look at our resources below.