National Asthma week is the first week of September and at Seven Hills Family Doctors we are supporting the National Asthma Council and Asthma Foundations in improving people’s health and Asthma control. One way to better breathing includes the 5Bs:
- Blow away allergy
- Brush up on technique
- Befriend your health professional
- Be even better (1800 ASTHMA helpline 1800 278 462 can help with how to become a better breather).
What is asthma?
As outlined in this Asthma Australia video, Asthma is a long term lung condition. Breathing is made more difficult due to the combination of “tight” airways due to muscle constriction and also inflammation, which causes swelling and mucous production which make breathing difficult. One in ten people in Australia have asthma and while it cannot be cured, it can be well managed.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Over time a person’s asthma symptoms can vary and when well-controlled many people experience no symptoms. Symptoms do vary from person to person but generally include:
- tight feeling in the chest
- continuing cough
Often people notice symptoms at night, in the early morning or during and after exercise. If your asthma is well controlled you should only suffer symptoms very occasionally. At Seven Hills Family Doctors we strongly recommend you present for review if you are having symptoms regularly. If you’re not sure you have asthma, visiting the doctor can help establish the diagnosis and improve your health and quality of life.
What causes asthma?
While the causes of asthma are not fully understood people with asthma often have a family history of asthma, eczema and hay fever. A link with tobacco smoke exposure, especially at an early age, has been made and obesity and some workplace chemicals have also been associated with an increased risk of asthma.
What can I do to better manage my asthma?
As a long term lung condition, asthma requires on-going monitoring and management. Treatment involves a number of strategies from identifying and managing triggers to improving puffer use and being aware of when you’re losing control. At Seven Hills Family Doctors we can help you prepare an individualised asthma plan and help you on the way to be a better breather.