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Burn-offs, fires, and asthma

Burn-offs, fires, and asthma

Living in Australia, it’s inevitable that burn-offs will happen throughout spring before any fire-bans kicks in. This generally causes no problems, but for people with asthma who have airways that are more sensitive, it’s important to keep in mind that burn-offs (and fires) can be a cause of stress and anxiety.

According to Asthma Australia, the things that set off or start symptoms are called triggers, and every person with asthma may experience these ‘triggers’ differently. Some common triggers include cold and flu, dust mites, smoke, exercise, and pollen.

For asthma sufferers living in Australia, it’s important to keep this under control with the right preventer medicine along with understanding how to react if exposed to a certain trigger - like smoke from a burn-off or fire, or even pollen on a windy day. It’s also very important to be aware that a trigger can linger long after air pollution or fire threat has subsided.

To reduce exposure to smoke as much as possible, those with asthma should stay indoors with the windows closed and do as little outdoor activity as possible, along with using re-circulated air in the car. Anyone with asthma living in a high-risk fire zone should also include asthma management in their fire safety survival plan.

If you have any questions about your asthma and appropriate management of your symptoms, please book in for a consultation with your doctor.

After Hours

In a medical emergency, please call 000 and ask for an ambulance.

If you require medical assistance, Barwon Health's University Hospital Geelong is located on Bellerine St (main entrance) or Ryrie Street (emergency entrance), Geelong. Ph: (03) 4215 0000. Barwon Health North is located at 155 Princess Hwy, Norlane. Ph: (03) 4215 8000.

Private emergency medical services are also available at St John of God Hospital, located at Myers St, Geelong. Ph: (03) 5226 8888 or Epworth Geelong, located at 1 Epworth Place, Waurn Ponds. Ph: (03) 5271 7777.

For out of hours medical services, please call the National Home Doctor Service 13SICK on 13 74 25 or the After Hours GP Helpline on 1800 022 222 or visit https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/after-hours-gp-helpline