thunderstorm asthma
n. An asthma attack that occurs during, and is caused by, a thunderstorm.
MELBOURNE hospitals have had an influx of patients with respiratory problems to their emergency departments in a phenomenon experts have described as ''thunderstorm asthma''. The head of The Alfred hospital's allergy and asthma service, Associate Professor Jo Douglass, … said a rapid rise in humidity — which often precedes a thunderstorm — could cause pollen grains to burst in the air, releasing tiny particles that could be inhaled into the lungs and cause asthma.
—Kate Hagan, “Pollen, storms lead to surge in asthma,” The Age, November 26, 2010
But even if you stay indoors, thunderstorms are associated with some adverse health effects. Researchers have documented thunderstorm-related outbreaks of asthma, and there are hints that storms can also trigger problems ranging from sleep apnea to migraine headaches. … As far as asthma goes, almost everyone who gets thunderstorm asthma also has seasonal allergies.
—“Question: I seem to have asthma attacks before and during thunderstorms. To my surprise, my doctor said that not only can thunderstorms affect asthma, but they can also present other health hazards. What can you tell me about these?,” Detroit Free Press, August 22, 2010
1995 (earliest)
Allergenic starch granules have been associated with epidemics of thunderstorm asthma during the grass pollen season.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria: Volumes 107-108, Royal Society of Victoria, December 01, 1995