Understanding and Managing Asthma

May 6 2024

This World Asthma Day, it’s crucial to shed light on this chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of Australians. Asthma is one of the most common long-term health conditions in Australia, with over 2.7 million people diagnosed.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the airways in the lungs. People with asthma have sensitive airways that react to triggers, causing symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. While asthma cannot be cured, it can be managed effectively with proper treatment and care.

It also affects people of all ages, with approximately one in nine Australians suffering from this condition. Alarmingly, asthma is more common in children, with one in eight children affected. However, it can develop at any age, and adults are also susceptible to the condition.

Recent studies have provided valuable insights into various aspects of asthma management and treatment in Australia:

  1. Impact of Air Quality: Poor air quality, especially during bushfires and high pollen seasons, can worsen asthma symptoms and lead to an increase in hospital admissions.
  2. Biological Therapies: Recent advancements in asthma treatment include biological therapies that target specific pathways in the immune system. These therapies have shown promising results in managing severe asthma and improving the quality of life for patients who do not respond well to traditional treatments.
  3. Asthma Education Programmes: Studies have shown that asthma education programmes play a crucial role in improving asthma management and reducing hospital admissions. These programmes provide patients with essential information about their condition, treatment options, and self-management strategies.

Managing Asthma Effectively

Managing asthma involves a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and avoiding triggers. Here are some tips for effectively managing asthma:

  1. Take prescribed medication: Follow your asthma action plan and take prescribed medication as directed by your healthcare provider, even when you’re feeling well.
  2. Identify and avoid triggers: Common triggers include allergens (such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander), respiratory infections, cold air, smoke, and air pollution. Identifying and avoiding these triggers can help reduce asthma symptoms.
  3. Monitor your symptoms: Keep track of your symptoms and peak flow readings using a peak flow metre. This can help you identify when your asthma is getting worse and when to seek medical help.
  4. Get vaccinated: People with asthma are at higher risk of complications from respiratory infections, so it’s essential to get vaccinated against the flu.

On World Asthma Day, let’s raise awareness about asthma and support those living with this chronic condition. By understanding asthma triggers, following treatment plans, and making healthy lifestyle choices, we can effectively manage asthma and improve the quality of life for millions of Australians. If you or someone you know is living with asthma, remember that help and support are available, and you’re not alone in your journey to manage this condition.

Remember, always consult your healthcare provider for personalised advice and treatment options.