Could your spring allergies be disguising something MORE?
It’s spring, the season where the weather warms, flowers begin to bloom and there’s an overall sense of new beginning in the air. Yet the, spring season can also bring additional challenges for people with asthma.
For many people in Australia, spring (or the dry season in tropical areas) can be a difficult time. This is particularly so for people with asthma and/or hay fever as during spring there is often an increased amount of pollen in the air which may trigger hay fever symptoms or an asthma ‘episode’ or ‘attack’.
Problems with pollen are usually caused by grasses, weeds and trees which are wind pollinated. As trees, grass, flowers and plants bloom, pollen is released into the air causing the inevitable sounds of springtime coughin’, wheezin’ and sneezin’.
But don’t despair and return to your Winter hibernation. Simply follow the information below to help manage your asthma and allergies and download our Asthma in disguise – Spring Asthma checklist.
Spring asthma resources
To promote our Asthma in disguise – Spring asthma message, we have developed a range of digital resources available for you to download and print:
Asthma and hay fever – flyer
Asthma and hay fever – poster 1 and poster 2
Asthma and hay fever – An information sheet for Pharmacy
Asthma and hay fever – An information sheet for General Practice
What can impact your asthma over Spring?
Click on a tile below to find out more.
Spring asthma tips
Be aware of high pollen days
If you experience hay fever and/or pollen is a trigger for your asthma, it is important to be aware of when high levels of pollen are present in the air. Find out more about how to keep up to date with your local pollen levels here.
Treat your hay fever symptoms
Managing hay fever is an important part of overall asthma care as hay fever can make asthma worse and more difficult to control. Treatment of hay fever depends on the severity and frequency of your hay fever symptoms. Find out more on hay fever treatments here.
Manage your risk of thunderstorm asthma
There are ways to manage your risk of thunderstorm asthma. Find out more about what you can do here.
Have a low-allergen gardening experience
We’ve put together the top tips for helping you have an allergy-friendly gardening experience on our blog.
Be prepared for spring
Good asthma management year-round is the key to ensuring you are ready for spring.
Download our Asthma in disguise – Spring asthma checklist.
Visit your doctor for an asthma review
Asthma isn’t something you have to deal with on your own. Your doctor and other health professionals can help you get good asthma control, so you can live a full and active life.
Visit your doctor every 6 – 12 months for an asthma review. With your doctor:
- assess your current level of asthma control
- make sure you are on the right medicines to manage your asthma (e.g. a preventer)
- check your inhaler technique
- ensure your Asthma Action Plan is up-to-date
- ask about your asthma, your treatment and how to stay healthy during winter
Get a written Asthma Action Plan
An Asthma Action Plan is something developed with a doctor to help provide clear instructions on what to do when experiencing asthma symptoms or during an asthma flare-up and should include instructions about managing asthma alongside identified triggers.
Every person with asthma should have their own written Asthma Action Plan however, only 1 in 5 people aged 15 and over with asthma have one.
With your doctor, develop or update your written Asthma Action Plan. Follow a written asthma action plan for:
- better controlled asthma
- fewer asthma flare-ups
- fewer days off work or school
- reduced reliever medication use
- fewer hospital visits
Take the Asthma Control Test
Poor asthma control (frequent symptoms and/or flare-ups) is a common problem in both adults and children. People with poor asthma control are at a higher risk of flare-ups and significant complications.
If you have experienced any of the following in the last four weeks it indicates your asthma may not be under control.
- daytime asthma symptoms more than 2 days per week
- need for reliever more than 2 days per week
- any limitation on activities due to asthma symptoms
- any asthma symptoms during the night or on waking
Take the Asthma Control Test to get your Asthma Score.
Preventer – every day, even when well
Preventers work to reduce the inflammation in the airways. Regular use of your preventer makes the airways less sensitive, which reduces the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms (reducing the need for your reliever medication) and the risk of future flare-ups.
Daily use of a preventer is key to keeping well.
Check your device technique
Up to 90% of people are thought to use their inhalers incorrectly, which means the dose of medicine isn’t getting into the lungs where it’s needed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to check you are using your inhaler medication device correctly.
Watch our series of instructional videos showing how to correctly use a variety of asthma medication devices.
Learn the steps of Asthma First Aid
The Asthma First Aid app is your go-to tool for an asthma emergency. It covers both first aid in the event of an asthma emergency plus the ability to review each of the four first aid steps. Download the Asthma First Aid app from the App Store or Google Play from our page here.