Spring is asthma season – are you at risk?
Spring is asthma and allergy season. Any form of breathing difficulty can be very serious and needs to be assessed by your doctor, whether it is seasonal or brought on by asthma, allergies, exercise, cold weather or other factors. At worst, a major asthma or allergy attack can kill you!
COVID-19 is also not going away any time soon. We know people with chronic conditions like asthma are at greater risk of experiencing a more serious illness if they contract the virus.
In short, it is important not to under-estimate the risks of breathing difficulties and asthma, both in terms of what they can do to you and the fact they can make you more vulnerable to COVID-19.
If you suffer from asthma, Asthma Australia and Ochre Health recommend the following checklist to reduce your risk and optimise your asthma control:
- Ensure you are taking your preventer medication as prescribed
- Ensure your technique for using your preventer or reliever device is correct and has been checked by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist
- Ask your doctor for a written Asthma Action Plan if you don’t have one, including instructions for when and how you should adjust your treatment if your symptoms worsen and also when you should seek medical assistance
- Follow your Asthma Action Plan and also have your doctor review and update it periodically
- Maintain good overall health and wellbeing, including following advice for managing any other long term conditions and focusing on key general health areas like nutrition, exercise and stress management
- Ensure you always have access to a reliever puffer and spares, for example when you leave the house or when you are at work or school (if you are not undertaking those activities from home)
- Ensure you know how to identify asthma symptoms and treat them properly, including having a basic understanding of asthma first aid
- Ensure you understand your asthma triggers and how you can manage them, including allergies, cold weather, smoke, pets and others
- If you do have allergies like hayfever, make sure you are on the right medication for them
- Tell your family and friends you have asthma and make sure they also know your triggers as well as how to provide asthma first aid.
Talk to your Ochre Health doctor or call Asthma Australia on 1800 ASTHMA (278 462) if you have any questions about the above checklist or your asthma. If you need an in-person appointment, all Ochre Medical Centres have comprehensive systems and processes in place to keep patients safe, including screening for any flu-like symptoms, social distancing and a strong focus on hygiene.