- 01 Sep 2017
It’s Asthma Awareness Week (1-7 September), and we’re doing our bit with our partner Asthma Australia to raise awareness to help the 2.5 million people in Australia who manage their asthma symptoms on a daily basis.
Asthma is important to us as asthma is where ENJO Australia it all began (read our interview with our Founder and CEO Barb de Corti to find out more), and today marks the 1 year anniversary of our partnership, and we’re so pleased to be continuing with our commitment to fund research, educate and raise awareness for this invisible disease.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a disease of the airways, the small tubes that carry air in and out of our lungs. Exposure to certain triggers cause the sensitive airways to react and become red and swollen, this causes the airways to narrow making it difficult to breath. Although there is currently no cure, education and good asthma management means people with asthma can lead normal lives. It’s all about making small changes to your lifestyle for a healthier way of living.
Over the past year we’ve looked into asthma-related issues that affect you in the home, such as why indoor air quality is important, how to improve indoor air quality, detoxing your home and creating a healthier space for improved asthma symptoms.
Asthma symptoms vary over time and from person to person, which is why Asthma Australia recommend regular check-up and to educate yourself on your symptoms, triggers, medication and asthma first-aid. Take control of your asthma by following Asthma Australia’s asthma checklist.
Stay active, eat well, maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which may improve lung health and help avoid asthma attacks, plus, too many saturated fats may prevent asthma medication from working effectively1. Don’t let asthma symptoms put you off exercise, the fitter you are the more you can exercise before asthma symptoms start. If asthma symptoms are common after exercise visit your doctor. Smoking damages your lungs, increasing your risk of asthma flare-ups.
Monitor your symptoms
If you wheeze, have shortness of breath, cough or experience chest tightness more than two days a week, visit your GP.
Monitoring when and where you experience asthma symptoms will help undercover the triggers associated with your asthma, so keep a log and take note of the potential causes.
Know your triggers
If you suffer from asthma your airways are likely to react to triggers, causing them to narrow and lead to asthma symptoms. Monitoring your asthma and understanding your triggers will help you avoid those triggers (if possible), which is one way to help reduce symptoms.
Understand your medication
Asthma medication is important for maintaining good asthma control. Always carry your reliever medication to use when you have asthma symptoms. If you have a preventer, take it every day, even when you feel well, to reduce your asthma symptoms.
Check your inhaler technique
Using your inhaler correctly helps your medication work better and can reduce the risk of side-effects. Contact Asthma WA, your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to check your inhaler technique.
Have a current asthma plan
An asthma action plan tells you how to recognise worsening asthma, when to change your medication and when to seek medical help. Review your asthma with your doctor every year.
Know your asthma first aid
Always keep your reliever with you and don’t wait to use it until your asthma symptoms are severe. Call an ambulance and start
asthma first aid if: you are struggling to breathe; you can’t talk in a full sentence; your symptoms worsen quickly; you have blue lips; or your reliever has little effect.
Asthma Foundation / Asthma Australia
1. National Asthma Council Australia. Asthma & Healthy Living