A DRAMATIC drop in air quality across the region, including Bathurst, has seen an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for respiratory distress.
While unable to provide specific figures for Bathurst, a spokesperson for NSW Ambulance said across the state, the service has been fielding an average of 70-100 calls a day from people with respiratory issues.
That figure increased to 150 (state wide) on Tuesday.
Inspector David McLeod, from NSW Ambulance, said in the Western dispatch area, which includes Bathurst, by 11am Wednesday, paramedics had attended nine jobs relating to respiratory patients in the region.
Across the Western Local Health District, on Monday 39 people were treated for respiratory issues, of which 13 were admitted to hospitals and 26 allowed to go home.
On Tuesday a further 31 people were treated in hospitals across the region, of which 11 were admitted.
Bathurst's air quality has been among the worst in the state this week, frequently registering in the hazardous category, as smoke from nearby bushfires continues to smother the city in a thick haze.
Pharmacist in charge at Moodie's Chemist, Krysti-Lee Rigby, said she has definitely seen an increase in demand for Ventolin, and other related treatments, as a result of the declining air quality.
"We've seen a massive increase in demand not only for Ventolin, but spacers as well."
She said many people who came in for Ventolin were unaware the medicine was 98 per cent more effective when used with a spacer.
"People often think they are only for kids or people using Ventolin for the first time.
"But everyone should be using a spacer, so we are working really hard to get the message out there," she said.
She said along with an increase in demand for Ventolin, there had also been an increase in asthma preventer medications and antihistamines. Ms Rigby said if people find their asthma is flaring they should see their GP, especially if they don't have an asthma management plan to follow.