Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. Shockingly, this lung condition affects an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Read on to learn how to manage your symptoms.
Six steps to asthma management
According to the latest report by Asthma UK, it has been revealed that one million people across the UK are at risk of an asthma attack because they could be relying on the 'wrong inhaler'.
Asthma UK has advised that the best action to reduce your risk of having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack is to follow these six simple asthma management steps:
- Keep taking your preventer inhaler daily as prescribed. This will help cut your risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any respiratory virus, including coronavirus
- Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you every day, in case you feel your asthma symptoms flaring up
- Download and use an asthma action plan to help you recognise and manage asthma symptoms when they come on
- If you have a peak flow meter it is useful to maintain a peak flow diary. If you don’t have a peak flow meter, think about getting one from your GP or pharmacist, as it can be a good way of tracking your asthma. It can also help your medical team to assess you if you need a telephone or video consultation
- If you come down with flu, a cold, or any other respiratory infection, follow these tips for looking after your asthma when you’re not well
- If you smoke and suffer from asthma it’s vital to quit now. There’s NHS advice on how to give up smoking here
How to use your inhaler
Educating yourself fully on how to correctly use your inhaler. This will make a difference in your asthma and improve your respiratory symptoms. While each inhaler manufacturer provides specific instructions for using their inhaler, here is some general advice.
- Remove the cap and shake the inhaler
- Breathe out gently
- Insert the mouthpiece between the front teeth and seal your lips around it
- Breathe in and at the same time press down on the medication
- Hold breath for up to 10 seconds whilst also removing the inhaler
- Wait for a few seconds before repeating steps two and four if a second dose is needed
Common asthma symptoms include:
- Feeling breathless
- Tightness in your chest
- Cough and wheeziness
Symptoms can be triggered by things such as flu, pollution, pollen, cigarette smoke and animals. Keep a diary of symptoms as this can help the doctor properly assess your condition.
Get help quickly from our Private GP service
If you’re using your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, it could be a sign that your asthma is getting worse, and you should contact your GP or asthma nurse.
Published on 02 May 2023