What is Asthma?
- Asthma is a long-term lung condition.
- People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers.
- The muscles around the airway squeeze tight, the airways swell, become narrow and there is more mucus.
- The condition is reversible and controllable with medication/puffers.
Asthma and Statistics:
- 1 in 9 Australians have asthma, around 2.5 million.
- It’s more common in males age 0-14.
- It’s more common in female age 15 and over.
- There were 39,500 hospitalisations in 2014-15 related to asthma.
- Children under 15 are more likely to be hospitalized with asthma.
Causes of Asthma:
- People with asthma often have a family history of asthma, they might also have medical history of eczema and hay fever.
- Research has shown that exposure to tobacco smoke, obesity and some workplace chemicals can increase the risk of developing asthma.
Symptoms of Asthma:
- Asthma symptoms can vary over time, sometimes they will have no symptoms, especially when asthma is well controlled.
- Most common symptoms are: breathlessness, wheezing, tight feeling in the chest, continuing cough.
- Symptoms often occur at night and early in the morning.
- Symptoms can be triggered by a chest infection, exercise, a cold or temperature change.
How do you know if your symptoms are well controlled?
- You should only have symptoms on no more than 2 days a week.
- You need your blue medicated puffer (Ventolin) no more than 2 days a week, or not at all.
- Your activities aren’t limited by your asthma.
- You don’t get any symptoms at night or when you wake up.
If your symptoms are increasing, or you find that you are needing to use your reliever, then your asthma could be better controlled. Talk to one of our GP’s today for further evaluation.