Asthma

Don’t let your asthma control you

Asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs caused by inflammation. When a person with asthma is exposed to certain triggers their airways over react and can narrow making it harder to breathe.

When it comes to asthma pharmacists are able to offer some good advice but don’t forget to check in with your doctor regularly if you’ve been diagnosed with asthma or think you might have asthma symptoms.

Being out of breath doesn’t have to be a normal part of life.

Although there is no cure for asthma, there is a range of medicines available to help control the symptoms and prevent it flaring up, which can reduce the impact on daily life. Following good asthma management allows a person with asthma to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

If you have asthma, it’s important to practice good asthma management. This involves:
• Taking your prescribed asthma medications as directed.
• Monitoring your asthma with a peak flow meter.
• Staying active and healthy by doing appropriate physical activity – check with your doctor if you’re not sure what might suit you and always stop if you don’t feel right.
• Avoiding your asthma triggers where possible.
• Having a written asthma action plan. This can be written by your Doctor and it will outline your asthma medicines, how to tell if your symptoms are getting worse, what you should do if they do get worse and what you should do in the case of an asthma attack.
• And visiting your Doctor regularly.

Your pharmacist can also assist you manage your asthma. You can ask your pharmacist about:
• The correct use of asthma puffers (or inhalers).
• How to use a puffer and spacer effectively.
• How a peak flow metre and nebulizer work and how to use them properly.
• The difference between preventer and reliever puffers.
• How to identify and avoid asthma triggers.
• Other medications you are taking and if they might affect your asthma medication.

As you might expect, smoking will have a negative impact on asthma. Quitting smoking is difficult for some, so if you need help have a chat with your Pharmacist for some advice.

Remember, asthma is a serious condition, so whenever in doubt speak with your GP and pharmacist for advice.

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