Australia, it’s time to take asthma seriously
As many as one in 10 Australian adults and one in nine children have asthma. As we grow older, asthma tends to lessen its grip on our lungs and on our day to day lives. So we put off our check-ups, we forget to take our preventative treatments and we certainly don’t keep up to date on best practice techniques to optimise their effectiveness.
Which is a concern when you consider that, if left untreated, asthma has the potential to be life-threatening.
It’s our view that our nation needs to think differently about how we manage this disease, and treat it with the seriousness it deserves. Here are just a few simple ways Australians young and old can get help to get their asthma under control for good.
Recognise the signs
A long-term chronic disease of the airways, asthma is characterised by a shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest and a wheezing cough.
A mild-to-moderate asthma flare-up will typically involve minor difficulties in breathing, wheezing and coughing, whereas a severe-to-life threatening asthma will see a sufferer gasping for breath, struggling to speak, and unresponsive to reliever medication.
It’s important to know the difference and to take the right steps to prevent an attack from worsening.
For the full list of asthma signs and symptoms, as well as First Aid instructions, visit the National Asthma Council website.
Know the triggers
Working out your asthma trigger (or triggers) can be a frustrating, if not time-consuming process of elimination. Often linked to allergies, asthma triggers vary from person to person, the most common
- Inhaled allergies, from dust mites and mold spores to animal dander and pollen
- Cold air, exercise, or physical exertion from laughing/crying
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents
- Sulfite additives such as food preservatives
- Food allergies
- Emotional triggers such as stress
A comprehensive list of asthma triggers as well as tips and advice for treating your environment to eliminate them one by one is available from the National Asthma Council Australia site.
Create an Asthma Action Plan
Written in partnership with a trusted healthcare professional, an Asthma Action Plan is designed to help an asthma sufferer or their carer recognise symptoms when they occur and provide clear instructions on what to do next.
Those keen to get a head start can download their own Asthma Action Plan template from the National Asthma Council Australia’s Asthma Action Plan Library here.
Carry your reliever (and spacer) – just in case
There’s nothing worse than feeling that first wheeze of asthma at work or out on the sporting field and realising you’ve left your reliever at home. To ensure you never leave the house empty-handed again, create a daily reminder or alarm in your phone, keep a spare inhaler in your carry bag, car and place of work.
Even if you’ve never experienced one first-hand, it’s not hard to imagine that an asthma attack is no picnic. The good news is that there are new and improved ways to help manage the severity of your symptoms and stop an asthma attack in its tracks.
Premium Health’s First Aid course is designed to provide individuals and carers with step by step process to identifying, managing and responding to symptoms of asthma as they occur. For more information on this course or to make a booking, call 1300 721 292 today.