Asthma expected to increase

St John Ambulance event health services operations manager Melissa Rorke.
St John Ambulance event health services operations manager Melissa Rorke.

St John Ambulance event health services operations manager Melissa Rorke said this time of year was notorious for triggering symptoms in allergy sufferers.

‘As the trees start to bloom and pollen becomes airborne, allergy sufferers start to suffer from symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing and asthma,’ Ms Rorke said.

‘We would encourage people to call 000 if they are having a severe reaction and to try and keep calm.’

Last spring, paramedics attended more than 110 asthma-related incidents a month, compared to less than 90 a month during the rest of the year.

Horticulturalist Sabrina Hahn also offered some advice to help reduce allergy risks while outdoors.

‘Avoid trees such as birches, planes, alder, ash, elm, liquid amber, poplar, olives and male sheoaks,’ Ms Hahn said.

‘Shrubs such as privet and wattle are also notorious for upsetting asthmatics and those who live in rural areas can also be affected by pattersons curse and rye-grasses.’