Managing asthma can be very challenging and complex but we know that good asthma management leads to less asthma flare-ups and hospital visits.
To help you, we’ve narrowed down six asthma basics that you need to know. Following these steps will help you keep your asthma under control all year round.
Visit your doctor for an asthma review
Visit your doctor every 6 – 12 months for an asthma review. You will need to visit more regularly if your treatment has recently changed or you have been to hospital for your asthma, you are pregnant, or have severe asthma.
At your review, talk to your doctor about:
Your current level of asthma control
Your asthma medicines
Your inhaler technique. E.g. do you find it difficult to use?
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, overuse of your reliever medication and reduces the risk of future asthma flare-ups. Daily use of a preventer is key to keeping well.
If you don’t already have a preventer inhaler, talk to your doctor. Most adults with asthma should be prescribed one according to the National Asthma Council Australia’s Australian Asthma Handbook.
If any of your asthma inhalers is a puffer, you should own a spacer. Spacers help your medicine get down into your lungs where it is needed. It’s especially important if you have a preventer puffer, to help avoid side-effects.
Up to 90% of people are thought to use their inhalers incorrectly[i], 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 correctly.
We’ve recently created some brand-new first aid posters to make it easier to know what to do in an emergency. There is now separate posters for those of you who use a blue/grey reliever, or one of the dual-purpose relievers.