Do not fear that spring is here: Tips for asthma management!
Asthma affects more than 2.2 million Australians: 1 in every 6 children, 1 in 7 adolescents and 1 in 9 adults. It can be worrisome if you’re an asthma sufferer to hear about the bushfires that have been occurring recently, as bushfires create smoke and dust, which can aggravate asthma.
Last week was National Asthma Week – and it takes place during a very significant time for asthma sufferers – spring. Although spring is a wonderful time of year, with the days becoming longer, flowers blooming and the weather warming up, unfortunately it also means your asthma and allergy triggers are making their seasonal appearance.
At Family Doctors Plus we are always focused on prevention. Although you can’t always prevent asthma attacks completely, we are encouraging our patients to ensure that they’re managing it the best way they can.
Here are our six tips to better control your asthma:
1. Assess the severity
This can be done using spirometry or other lung function tests and by looking at the effect of asthma on your daily life. Your doctor may describe your asthma as mild, moderate or severe, depending on your:
- symptoms, and how frequently they occur
- lung function
- hospital admissions
- requirement for medications.
2. Improve your lung function
This involves finding the right medications for optimal lung function and to minimise day-to-day symptoms. Medications are often started at high doses to bring the asthma under control, and then the doses will be reduced to avoid side effects.
3. Know your triggers and avoid them
If you know what triggers your asthma, you can take measures to reduce your exposure to your triggers (e.g. pets, cigarette smoke, or dust).
A long-term medication program is planned and monitored via repeat lung function measurements and observation of your asthma symptoms. This will usually involve both “reliever” and “preventer” medications designed to minimise potential side effects.
5. Have an action plan
An action plan is prepared with your doctor and includes:
- how to recognise when your asthma is getting worse
- what to do when your asthma is getting worse
- when you should seek medical help.
6. Check your asthma regularly
It is important to have regular asthma reviews by your doctor, even when your asthma is under control or not very severe. During these reviews, your doctor will measure your lung function, discuss recent symptoms, review medications and check your inhaler technique.
If you need a hand getting your asthma management plan sorted, be sure to come and see your GP here at Family Doctors Plus. To book an appointment, head to the AutoMed app, or call our friendly receptionist staff on (07) 3357 8192.