Extreme heat leaves Eastbourne woman struggling to speak as asthma attack warning issued

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

With the Met Office extending its extreme heat warning across the South East, a woman from Eastbourne with asthma has described how the condition can severely impact her.

Jacqui Perkins even ended up in hospital a few years ago during one summer because her symptoms escalated.

It comes as millions of asthma sufferers are being warned to take extra precautions with rising temperatures over the coming days.

"I find it hard to breathe when it's really hot" says Jacqui who is trying to avoid the heat by closing the curtains in her house, taking her dog Jacob on an early walk and keeping her inhaler close by.

Jacqui Perkins taking her dog Jacob for an early walk to avoid the warm temperatures Credit: ITV News Meridian

"Sometimes I get headaches. I'll get a tightness in my chest, in my throat, I just can't catch a breath and I find it difficult to talk sometimes.

"I had to ring 111 and speak to them because I was having trouble speaking and they sent a paramedic out and I had to go to hospital.

"I was on a nebuliser so that wasn't a very nice experience. It is scary, but luckily that doesn't happen that often.

"That was a really really hot day and it is a scary thing, not a lot of things scare me, but when you're wired up it is a scary experience."

Temperature Extremes expected for the UK Credit: ITV Weather

Met Office meteorologists have issued the third ever heat warning for the UK with daytime temperatures expected to reach in excess of 32°C widely within the South and South East of England.

For asthma sufferers a rising temperatures can be particularly concerning.

In towns and cities where traffic builds up, pollution can be trapped by the static air which often comes from the heat.

Whilst in open environments, warmer conditions can cause pollen to rise into the atmosphere.

The heat can impact pollen levels which can also increase asthma symptoms Credit: ITV News Meridian

The combination of pollen, pollution and hot weather have created a perfect storm, with asthma sufferers being warned to take extra care.

Dr Samantha Walker from Asthma UK said: "In general people with asthma should just make sure they're taking that preventer inhaler, which is the brown one.

"If you think you're going to get worse symptoms, the best thing to do is to try and protect yourself and make sure you carry your blue inhaler.

Asthma can cause breathing difficulties and is a common lung disease. Credit: PA Images

"Pollen counts are quite interesting because they tend to rise during the day out of the way and come down again in the morning and evening.

"So if you've got to go out, maybe go out at the peak of the day and avoid early mornings and evenings and try and avoid areas of high pollution."

ITV weather presenter Helen Plint said: "At the moment, our temperatures are actually having a comparative lull, would you believe, they're not as hot as they were at the beginning of this week.

"And from here on in, they'll just climb day on day, peaking on Tuesday next week, it looks like at the moment will be well into the thirties by then."