Brits with lung conditions urged to be ‘extra cautious’ as summer could spark attacks

Person using an inhaler
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


People across England are urged to be “extra cautious” if they have lung conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as pollen levels continue to rise throughout the week with “very high” peaks expected across most of the country. The capital and the South East may face particularly extreme levels of pollen.

Asthma + Lung UK issued the warning earlier this week encouraging people to take precautions to protect their health during the summer month. Erika Radford, head of the charity, noted that the pollen levels can be “very problematic for people with lung conditions”.

She continued: “It can make someone’s lung condition symptoms much worse or lead to a potentially life-threatening asthma attack or COPD flare-up. When pollen particles are breathed in, they can cause inflammation in the airways and get into the lungs, making it harder for those with lung conditions to breathe.”

Aside from the physical effects of attacks like this, Erika also pointed out the mental stress it creates as the “terrifying” moments leave sufferers panicking. However, there are a number of steps people can put in place to keep attacks at bay.

Erika advised: “Using your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed is very important as the medicine dampens down swelling and inflammation in the airways. This means you are less likely to react badly to a trigger like pollen.”

Other methods include keeping doors and windows closed to keep out the pollen, taking antihistamine medication, and keeping a reliever inhaler on hand in case breathing difficulties do arise. The steadily climbing levels of pollen in the lead-up to summer have already taken effect as the charity reported 397 calls in April relating to pollen and hay fever compared to 407 calls in May.

Pollen count rises every year between March and September during the warm, windy and humid months. A survey by the charity revealed that 47% of asthma patients and 27% of people with COPD said pollen triggers flare-ups of their conditions.