With the cold weather just around the corner, are you at risk of getting asthma this winter? Asthma is a chronic disease characterised by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person. Currently there is no cure for asthma, but it’s a treatable and manageable health condition.
People living in colder places like Armidale are especially prone to asthma, so it’s vital you have a plan. The cold night air and the smoke in the air from wood-fired stoves and heaters both combine to make conditions more severe for asthma sufferers.
Is your asthma under control?
Good asthma control means you’re able to control the following:
- Night-time asthma symptoms
- Asthma symptoms on waking
- Need for reliever medication
- Restriction of day-to-day activities
- Days off school or work due to asthma
- Asthma attacks or flare-ups
If you’re worried about the potential of asthma this winter, don’t just put up with it. Don’t let yourself get used to poor asthma control! Regularly waking from asthma symptoms or using your reliever medication more than two – three times a week (except before exercise) should not be a “normal” part of having asthma. If this sounds familiar, come into Armidale Life Pharmacy or see your doctor for an asthma review.
Don’t let asthma stop you or your child being physically active!
Asthma symptoms after physical activity are common, but can be prevented. Swimming is popular for children with asthma, but doing other regular sports or activities is just as good.
Tips for getting active with asthma:
- Do a proper warm-up before exercising.
- Get as fit as possible – the fitter you are, the more you can exercise before asthma symptoms start.
- Avoid exercising where there are high levels of pollens, dust, fumes or pollution.
- Exercise in a place that is warm and humid – avoid cold, dry air if possible.
- Try to breathe through your nose (not your mouth) when you exercise – this makes the air warm and moist when it reaches your lungs.
When was the last time you had an asthma check?
This where the pharmacists at Armidale Life Pharmacy can help.
An asthma health check is a service in the pharmacy where we:
- Check your inhaler technique – although it might seem simple, it can be hard to get the steps just right. If it’s been a while since you were last shown, it’s easy for little mistakes to slip into your routine. Our simple check can ensure that the dose prescribed by your doctor is the same as the dose received by your lungs
- Asthma Plan Review – a written asthma action plan will help you recognise worsening asthma and tell you what to do in response. We can review your plan, or provide you with one if you don’t already have one.
- Discuss allergies and how to treat them
- Discuss an asthma buddy – for children with asthma
We can help you manage your asthma
Managing your asthma properly can help you lead a normal, active life. An asthma action plan can be very useful. Safe and effective preventer and reliever medications for asthma can improve your health and are available for adults and children, but will only work if taken as prescribed. Come and see our friendly and helpful pharmacists for personalised asthma advice that’s going to be right for you.
Article supplied by Rob Turner, Pharmacist – Life Pharmacy Group. Shop 2, 28 Rockvale Rd, Armidale. Ph: 6772 7557.