Dust warning

Dust storms over eastern Australia. Image: Bureau of Meteorology
Dust storms over eastern Australia. Image: Bureau of Meteorology

With dust storms descending on the ACT and parts of NSW, NPS MedicineWise has reminded people to keep taking their medicines

People with heart or breathing conditions need to follow advice from their doctor and NSW Health, the organisation has said.

During the storms, they should also limit time spent outdoors and avoid engaging in vigorous exercise.

NPS MedicineWise medical adviser Dr Jill Thistlethwaite has advised people with chest conditions, including asthma and COPD, to ensure they take their medicines as directed and have a reliever inhaler on hand for use as needed – and for those with asthma, to act as indicated in their asthma plan.

“We know that using an inhaler can be tricky, but good inhaler technique is key to getting the most from your medicines, which could be especially important when air quality is low,” she says.

“We encourage you to check your inhaler technique with a health professional or check out the tips on the NPS MedicineWise website.

“If your breathing worsens with difficulty breathing, chest tightness or increased wheezing, seek medical help,” she said.

Because dust storms reduce air quality, they may have adverse effects on health.

Usually, particles in dust storms tend to be coarse or non-respirable and do not pose a serious health threat to the general public.

However, some people with pre-existing breathing-related problems, such as asthma and emphysema, may experience difficulties.

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