Heatwave Warning for people with 4454 people with Asthma and Hayfever in Offaly

Top tips for surviving your holidays for people with hayfever and asthma

The Asthma Society of Ireland is today warning the 4454 people in Offaly who have both asthma and hayfever in Ireland to take precautions when going on holidays this summer. News in the last 24 hours has indicated a heatwave across Europe in coming days, where temperatures could break records – causing problems for Irish people with hayfever and asthma if they are on holidays in areas affected by the heatwave.

Heatwave Warning for people with 4454 people with Asthma and Hayfever in OffalyThe Asthma Society has teamed up with Dyson Ireland to launch its Pollen Tracker on asthma.ie. The tracker provides an update of pollen levels across the four provinces each day, and a predictor of the pollen levels for the following day.

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: For the 4454 people in Offaly who have both asthma and hayfever, hayfever can be particularly dangerous. Hayfever symptoms are capable of escalating an asthma attack, which in some cases can be fatal. Asthma deaths are rising in Ireland, with one person now dying every six days as a result of their asthma. In addition, people with hayfever experience symptoms which really compromise their quality of life and ability to enjoy the summer months.

Everyone deserves to enjoy their holidays instead of struggling with their asthma and/or hayfever. Up to 80% of people with asthma also have hayfever, it is important to get both your hayfever and asthma under control to have an enjoyable holiday. If you or a family member have asthma and/or asthma please call the free Asthma and COPD Adviceline to speak to an experienced respiratory nurse who will be able to advise you on how to stay safe on your holidays. We have also created a list of tips for people going on their holidays to follow to ensure their asthma and hayfever symptoms are minimised.

With a heatwave across Europe and high pollen count in Ireland (see our Pollen tracker for daily updates), we are asking people with asthma to take precautions to ensure the safest enjoyment of this weather.”

Holiday Tips for People with Asthma and Hayfever:

  • Speak to the Asthma Society’s free Asthma and COPD Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 prior to your holiday to ensure your asthma and hayfever are in control.
  • Visit your GP to update your Asthma Action Plan – which can be downloaded from www.asthma.ie. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist prior to your holiday about taking medication to prevent / reduce your symptoms. Don’t wait until you feel unwell or until you are abroad as the language difference can pose a challenge in gettingthe right treatment.
  • Take sufficient quantities of asthma and hayfever medication to last the duration of your holiday and ensure that all medication you bring is in date for the duration.
  • Take your asthma medication with you as hand luggage, after checkingwith your airline in advance  to ensure it is ok to do so.
  • Ensure that you have an Asthma Attack Card and both you and your travel companions know what to do in case of an asthma emergency.
  • Ensure you have travel insuranceand check that your policy will cover asthma.
  • Before you arrive, locate the nearest pharmacy, doctor, hospital and ambulance service nearest to your accommodation encase of an emergency.
  • If you are travelling to somewhere in Ireland, check the pollen forecast on asthma.ie for daily pollen level updates. If you are visiting a foreign country, check if there is a pollen forecast available for that country.

If the Pollen Count is high, you should:

  • Keep windows and doors closed especially at night.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Stay away from grassy areas, especially when grass is freshly cut.
  • Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes.
  • Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period.
  • Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in.
  • Minimise your contact with animals that have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen.

The Asthma Society’s free Asthma and COPD Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 which allows the user to speak to a respiratory specialist nurse about all aspects of managing their condition – including hayfever and its impact on a respiratory condition. The Asthma Society can generally facilitate a callback from the asthma/COPD nurse within hours – which is very helpful as they make their holiday plans.

 

About the Asthma Society of Ireland:

The Asthma Society of Ireland is the national charity dedicated to empowering Ireland’s 470,000 people with asthma to take control of their asthma by providing them and their families with information, education, services and support. They are focused on representing people with asthma and working to improve their health outcomes.

 

About the Asthma/COPD Adviceline:

The Joint  Asthma and COPD Adviceline is available on 1800 44 54 64.

 

The Adviceline is proven to have a truly positive impact on people with asthma, with appointments tailored to the needs of each caller. The Adviceline respiratory specialist nurses work through every aspect of life with asthma: what to do in the event of an asthma attack, answering questions after a GP or consultant appointment, dealing with triggers that may be bringing on asthma symptoms, and helping  users put together an Asthma Action Plan to self-manage their condition. After speaking to one of the adviceline nurses, users will be fully equipped with the information and skills they need to improve their health and stay as well as possible.

 

Callers can book a free call back appointment by calling the free phone number between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday. The Asthma Society facilitates a call back from the nurse at a time that suits the patient.

 

In 2016, the Asthma/COPD Adviceline was awarded an independent quality mark by the Helplines Partnership, one of only three helplines in Ireland to have achieved this standard.

 

About Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of varying severity that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry the air in and out of the lungs.  People with asthma have airways that are extra sensitive to substances (or triggers), which irritate them. Common triggers include cold and flu, cigarette smoke, exercise and allergic responses to pollen, furry or feathery animals or house-dust mites.

 

When the airways come into contact with an asthma trigger, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower. The lining of the airways swell and produce sticky mucus.  As the airways narrow, it becomes difficult for the air to move in and out. That is why people with asthma wheeze and find breathing difficult.

 

Whilst there is no cure, asthma can be controlled by avoiding triggers and by the use of ‘reliever’ and ‘controller’ medication. Relievers are medicines that people with asthma take immediately when asthma symptoms appear. Controllers help calm the airways and stop them from being so sensitive. Talk to your GP or asthma nurse about which treatment is most suitable for you.  All patients with asthma are also advised to have a tailored asthma action plan, a crucial part of patient self-management, which helps patients control their asthma.

 

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