Asthma warning for Riverina

HEALTH authorities are warning asthmatics about the increased risk of flare-ups in the Riverina this spring.

While the bees might be singing praise, high pollen counts spell irritation for asthma sufferers by worsening symptoms.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) clinical nurse consultant Robyn Paton said authorities were on alert for an "asthma epidemic".

"Colds and flu, wheezing and sneezing have been common over the winter months," Ms Paton said, who specialises in asthma and respiratory.

Mix these conditions with excess ripened pollens from the bumper winter crops and thunderstorms during the late spring, and we may be at risk of experiencing another asthma epidemic.

Launching an awareness campaign this week, Ms Paton said the key message for people who wheeze and sneeze is to visit their GP for an assessment.

"People experiencing asthma symptoms need to use preventer medication each day plus reliever medication, such as Ventolin, if they have breathing problems," she said.

"If breathlessness continues following reliever medication, it is essential to seek medical help immediately."