All About Asthma

19Feb

This week is National Asthma Week. Asthma affects 1 in 10 Australians. It occurs when sensitive airways in the lungs react to triggers resulting in a ‘flare-up’.

What is asthma?

Asthma affects 1 in 10 Australians. It occurs when sensitive airways in the lungs react to triggers resulting in a ‘flare-up’. In a flare-up the airways tighten causing swelling and increased mucus production. You may become breathless, wheeze, cough and feel tight-chested. A severe flare-up is called an asthma attack.

What causes asthma?

Experts are not certain what causes asthma. People can develop it at any age. However, people with a family history of asthma, eczema or hayfever are more at risk, as are those exposed to tobacco smoke.

How do you manage asthma?

Most people can manage their asthma to live a full and active life. The aim is to take control of your asthma so that you have symptoms no more than 2 days of the week. The Asthma Control Test offered by Asthma Australia can help you evaluate your progress.

Know your medication

It’s important to know what your medicine does and how to use your puffer properly. Spacers are recommended as they allow more medicine into the lungs. Our team of pharmacists at Chemistworks can help you with your prescription needs and recommend a spacer.

Control the triggers

Common triggers include: colds, cold air, humidity, allergens, smoke, stress, exercise, foods, medication and latex. While triggers like cigarette smoke and indoor air pollution should be avoided, it’s important not to avoid healthy activities like exercise, laughing or sex. Your GP can help manage your triggers and any side effects. Getting the flu vaccine can also prevent flare-ups.

Seek support

If you think you have asthma, it’s important to let your GP diagnosis it and develop an action plan for you.

For asthma brochures, fact sheets and videos, visit http://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/ or call 1800 ASTHMA for advice.