08/05/2012 10:48 BST

Heavy Rain Leads To Spike In 'Thunderstorm Asthma Attacks'

Predictions of a stormy summer are cause for concern among Asthma experts, who point out that heavy rain can trigger serious attacks in sufferers.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Dr Prasanna Sankaran, a specialist registrar in respiratory medicine at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, said: "The new cases are often after heavy rain and thunderstorms which can trigger an attack."

According to Dr Sankaran, damp weather increases the likelihood of fungal spores being released from soil into the air.

Scroll down to find out how to help an asthma attack sufferer

UK weather forecasters continue to predict more thunder and lightning after storms swept across the country yesterday, bringing tornadoes to some areas.

Angela Jones, nurse specialist at Asthma UK, agrees that the risk of an attack increases during thunderstorms.

Jones told Huffpost Lifestyle: "Large quantities of pollen can be released into the air that trigger asthma symptoms and raise the risk of an emergency hospital admission."

"It also believed 'downdraughts' of cold air sweep up high concentrations of pollen and spores. These are thrust into the air, where they are broken up into smaller pieces that can penetrate deep into the lungs."

Jones highlighted that the increased risk of an asthma attack during volatile weather means it’s crucial for people keep their asthma medicines with them and windows closed to keep allergens out.

Asthma kills three people every day, and someone is admitted to hospital with a potentially fatal asthma attack every seven minutes in the UK, yet attacks and hospital admissions can be prevented by spotting and treating early warning signs.

Asthma UK are encouraging people with asthma to take The Triple A Test to help them find out their risk of having an attack and advise them what they can do to reduce it.

What To Do If Someone Is Having An Asthma Attack