Over the last couple months regular dust storms have coated our houses, cars and lungs with dust. The frequency of dust storms can be increased by hotter weather, therefore this summer it’s important to be prepared. Dusts storms reduce air quality and may have adverse effects on an individual’s health, in particular those with asthma and other respiratory conditions. This is due to the high level of dust in the air, but can also be caused by stress. The stress from a severe weather event can cause high emotions such as anxiety which can also trigger asthma and respiratory symptoms.
Who is most vulnerable?
Children and the elderly are most at risk of breathing difficulties, as well as those with pre-existent conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. However, it is important to note that anyone can develop respiratory symptoms, even if they haven’t in the past.
What precautions can I take?
The following precautions can help protect yourself and minimise the unwanted effects of a dust storm:
– Avoid outdoor activities. If you must go outside, spend as little time outside as possible. The longer you’re exposed, the greater chance for symptoms.
– Stay in air-conditioned areas, with the air-conditioner on recycle.
– Take preventer medication if directed by your doctor.
– Avoid vigorous exercise outdoors.
– And most importantly have an action plan in place! If you do not have an action plan, visit your doctor or pharmacist today to get organised.
If symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness develop, don’t delay! Follow your action plan and seek urgent medical assistance.
Stay safe this holiday period and Merry Christmas from all at Parkes Pharmacy.