Hayfever patients should have asthma meds at hand

People with hayfever should have asthma medications should have easy access to asthma medication, especially in pollen season, respiratory specialists say.

Research presented at a Thoracic Society scientific meeting in Canberra suggests that a history of hayfever is one of the "greatest" risk factors for thunderstorm asthma.

Dr Daniel Clayton-Chubb says this "hidden" population of Australians are often unaware they're at risk and need to be prepared.

"Severe thunderstorm asthma symptoms can strike rapidly and without warning," he says.

Nine people died in Victoria in 2016 and over 8500 required emergency hospital care when a freak weather event combining high pollen count with hot winds and sudden downpour led to the release of thousands of tiny allergen particles, triggering sudden and severe asthma attacks.

Those most seriously affected by this phenomenon,