Joan Doo, 81, uses an asthma spacer and inhaler after contracting asthma after open heart surgery a year ago.
Joan Doo, 81, uses an asthma spacer and inhaler after contracting asthma after open heart surgery a year ago. Iain Curry

Asthma sufferers feeling pinch as damp weather takes toll

THE Asthma Foundation has recorded a spike in calls for help on the Sunshine Coast and says the weather is to blame.

Asthma educator Alicia Goodwin said sudden changes in temperature, increased humidity and mould could trigger an asthma attack.

"In the last two weeks, it's been raining on and off ... then the temperature and humidity changes and that can flare up people's asthma," Ms Goodwin said.

"When you have significant downpours of rain, there is an increase of pollen released and that can also be a trigger.

"The other issue is mould, there's so much moisture."

Joan Doo, 81, from Golden Beach, said she had noticed her asthma flaring up in the past couple of days.

Ms Doo said she usually had Ventolin in the morning and night, but had to add another dose in the middle of the day to feel more comfortable.

"I didn't have asthma until I had open heart surgery last year," she said. "I can be out of breath and puffy, and I sit down and rest and it goes. I can't walk far because I get breathless.''

Ms Goodwin said most people calling the Asthma Foundation's help line needed help with how to deal with mould.

"Others are inquiring about their asthma which has been playing up, they're wanting to know if it has been due to the rain," she said.

Ms Goodwin anticipated another surge in calls just before winter because of the sudden change in temperature.

"Colds and flus are a huge trigger," she said.

The Asthma Foundation will hold a Live Well with Asthma Workshop in the coming months.

Call 1800 278 462 for more information.



  • Asthma is a disease affecting the airways of the lungs - causing inflammation and making it difficult to breathe
  • It is a major health problem in Queensland, affecting 10% of the population
  • Asthma is the leading cause of work absenteeism and the number one reason for hospital emergency room visits by children
  • Asthma attacks can be triggered by a range of factors, including house dust mites, pollen, cold weather, smoke and other irritants

Has the weather been affecting your asthma?

This poll ended on 12 April 2013.

Current Results

Yes, it's pretty bad


It's been a bit worse


I haven't had any change


Ummm ... I don't get asthma


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.