Media Releases

Spring into free NAC “asthma in spring” webinar

31 Aug 2022

The National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) has released their updated Asthma in Spring – Allergies and Thunderstorms webinar in their Asthma and Lung Health Best Practice for Professionals Program in time for National Asthma Week (1-7 September).


The free one hour session has a focus on spring time asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR), how to manage both conditions using the latest evidence-based guidelines, but critically also identifies those at greater risk of thunderstorm asthma and guidelines for management.


Narelle Williamson, NAC Asthma and Respiratory Educator, said thunderstorm asthma is a spring time phenomenon that all health professionals in primary care need to be prepared for.


“October to December is when the amount of rye grass pollen and other allergic material such as fungi or dust in the air can significantly increase right across South-Eastern Australia, although seasonal triggers may vary according to rainfall and temperature patterns.  This becomes a significant risk for patients with asthma and or AR.


“Even though spring comes around annually, there are important updates and this time every year sees an influx of patients who are struggling to cope with their AR and also often asthma,” she said.

The Asthma in Spring webinar covers important learnings including:

  • the association between allergic rhinitis and asthma
  • treatment guidelines for allergic rhinitis
  • those at greater risk of thunderstorm asthma and the guidelines of management
  • the importance of written asthma action plans and asthma first aid in thunderstorm asthma season.                        

Ms Williamson said almost 20 per cent of Australians suffer from AR and yet it is often underdiagnosed, undertreated and sub optimally self-treated.


“AR is an independent risk factor for developing asthma in children and adults and the presence of AR is associated with worse asthma control.


“AR is sometimes more easily recognisable, however, that is usually only after asthma has been stabilised and the webinar covers why it is important to assess patients with AR for co-exiting asthma and treat both conditions,” she said.


With spring an ideal time to conduct an asthma review to help patients achieve optimal asthma and AR control, particularly for at risk patients, Ms Williamson is urging GP’s, nurses and pharmacists to sign up for the webinar.


“Now is the time to prepare for the peak spring and thunderstorm asthma season and the likely increase in presentations for asthma.


“General practices and pharmacies, particularly those across South Eastern Australia, should ensure they have an Emergency Asthma Plan Policy for patients presenting with an asthma flare up, all staff are trained in asthma first aid and there are good supplies of reliever medications and spacers on hand, particularly for emergency use,” said Ms Williamson.


The National Asthma Council webinars are held in conjunction with a host organisation and attendance is free. Five  topics are currently available and are presented by members of the National Asthma Council’s team of experts. All material is based on the Australian Asthma Handbook.


The webinars are recognised by the RACGP and ACRRM as CPD activities.


Further resources:

The Allergic Rhinitis Treatments Chart is now live on NAC website, outlining the main intranasal treatment options for allergic rhinitis currently available in Australia. Designed as a poster to go on the wall of your clinic or pharmacy, the Allergic Rhinitis Treatments chart is an invaluable tool to help health professionals explain to patients the range and types of treatments available. The chart includes prescription only, pharmacy only and non-prescription products.

Free hardcopies can be order at [email protected]


The NAC also has an extensive library of “how-to” videos with a comprehensive collection of asthma, COPD and allergy medication device technique videos, demonstrating the correct technique for using each device.


For further information or an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact: 

Donna Le Page, Le Page PR Mobile: 0429 825 703 Email[email protected]

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