This Asthma Week, Fresh Therapeutics is helping Asthma Australia to bust the myths about Asthma.
Asthma is a condition that affects most Australians, two-thirds in fact! Despite this, there are many misconceptions about this chronic disease.
We want everyone in the community to know about asthma, good asthma control and prevention.
We want everyone in the community to be empowered to take steps to prevent and treat their asthma and to educate others.
This Asthma Week, Busting Asthma Mythsfocuses on five facts about asthma along with new data on Australians perceptions and misperceptions about asthma.
Asthma Impacts Most AustraliansTwo-thirds of Australians are impacted by Asthma. Most people know 1 of the 1.25 million Australians who have been diagnosed with asthma.
Asthma is a long term disease. Asthma can develop at any age. Most people don’t grow out of asthma – even though 1 person in 4 may think that – but it can be managed with medication.
Asthma is a life-threatening disease
More than 400 people die because of asthma each year. The right medication, knowledge, and a written Asthma Action Plan can help keep asthma under control. Almost 1 person in every 3 don’t realise asthma is life-threatening.
Asthma triggers are varied and include pollen, smoke, physical activity and exercise, colds and flus and thunderstorms
Most people know that asthma has many common triggers including pollen, smoke, physical activity, and viruses. But are you 1 out of 2 Australians who know that thunderstorms can trigger asthma flare-ups? Everybody experiences asthma differently.
Using an Asthma Preventer every day is the bets way to reduce asthma symptoms and flare-ups
Using a preventer each day reduces symptoms of asthma ad flare-ups for most people. These medications mimic the body’s natural response. Only 1 in 4 people under 24 years old knows this. Preventers are the mainstay of asthma management and we want everyone to know.
People often treat their asthma as a short-term condition that comes and goes when they have asthma symptoms. But, asthma is a chronic (long term) condition that’s always there, even when they don’t have symptoms.
Follow the Asthma Australia asthma checklist to ensure you’re taking the right steps to live well with Asthma.
Visit your Doctor 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 (eg. A preventer)
- Check your inhaler technique
- Ensure your written Asthma Action Plan is up to date
With your Fresh Therapeutics pharmacist
- Ask about a spacer
- Check your inhaler technique – up to 90% of people are thought to use their inhaler incorrectly
- Ask about how to manage any nasal symptoms effectively
- Ask about a script reminder service (Medadvisor) to ensure you do not run out of preventer
- Get the Asthma and Asthma Medicines Self Care Fact Cards with the Asthma First Aid Plan that you can keep on your fridge
Take the Asthma Control Test
If you have experienced any of the following in the last four weeks it indicates your asthma may not be under good control
- Daytime asthma symptoms more than 2 days per week
- Need for reliever medication more than 2 days per week
- Any limitation on activities due to asthma symptoms
- Any asthma symptoms during the night or on waking
Or get your Asthma Score by taking the Asthma Control test online at www.asthmaaustralia.org.au
Preventer – every day even when well
Most adults with asthma should have preventer medication. Daily use of a preventer is key to keeping well. Regular use of your preventer makes the airways less sensitive, will reduce your symptoms and should prevent remodelling or thickening of the airway tissue.
Check your inhaler device technique regularly
Research has shown up to 90% of people with asthma use their inhalers incorrectly, which means the complete dose of medicine may not be getting into the lungs. Ask you doctor or pharmacist to check you are using your inhaler medication device correctly. You can also watch inhaler technique videos at https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/living-with-asthma/how-to-videos
Get a written Asthma Plan
With your doctor, develop and follow a written Asthma Plan for:
- Better controlled asthma
- Fewer asthma flare ups
- Fewer days of school or work
- Reduced reliever medication use
- Fewer hospital visits
Learn Asthma First Aid
Get your Asthma Fact Card from Fresh Therapeutics or download the Asthma First Aid app from the iTunes store or Google Play.
For asthma information and support call the 1800ASTHMA helpline (1800 278 462) or visit asthmaaustralia.org.au
Two-thirds of Australians are impacted by asthma. Most people know 1 of the 2.5 million Australians who have been diagnosed with asthma. You probably know someone with asthma.