National Asthma Awareness Month – September 2017

National Asthma Awareness Month 

Become A Better Breather

September 2017


Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting Australians today, with 1 in 9 Australians diagnosed with the condition. There were 39,500 hospitalisations in 2014-15 where asthma was the main diagnosis, and thunderstorm asthma recently caused a number of deaths in Australia.

Whilst there is no cure for Asthma, it can be effectively controlled to the extent that is has little or no impact on the quality of life and activity of its sufferers. This is done primarily through medication, which fall into one of two functional categories – preventers and relievers.

As the names suggest, preventer medications decrease the likelihood of an asthma attack by reducing inflammation and mucus production, whereas relievers act to provide fast-acting relief to the symptoms of an asthma attack by dilating the airways, thereby allowing easier breathing. Mild asthmatics may only require relievers if their attacks are infrequent, however those with more frequent attacks require daily preventer medications to decrease the frequency and severity of attacks.

Ochre Health is supporting the National Asthma Council Australia’s asthma week. The theme of this year’s asthma week is “become a better breather”.

One of the key components to becoming a better breather is to aim to not regularly use your asthma reliever such as Ventolin more than two days a week. If you require your reliever more frequently, this may be a sign that your asthma is poorly controlled and you need a Written Asthma Action Plan. A Written Asthma Action Plan will help you recognise worsening asthma and tell you what to do in response. It also identifies what to do in a severe asthma attack or asthma emergency.

Following an Asthma Action Plan has shown to result in:

  • Better controlled asthma
  • Fewer asthma attacks
  • Fewer days off work or school
  • Reduced reliever medication use
  • Fewer hospital visits

Many Australian asthmatics don’t have an Asthma Action Plan in place.

If your asthma is limiting your activities, if you’re experiencing disturbed sleep from flare-ups at night – then your asthma is not properly managed. If this sounds like you, we can help. Book an appointment today with your GP to discuss your asthma and get a plan in place to stop asthma affecting your life.

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