The first week of September is Asthma Australia’s Asthma Week to try and raise awareness of this issue. It is also the time several of our patients tell us they get worse due to the westerly winds bringing triggers from inland.
Asthma is a common disease in Australia, with over 1 in 10 people being affected by it. For us Queenslanders it is slightly more common, with nearly 1 in 8 people having the condition.
What is Asthma?
People with asthma have sensitive airways, and when the tissues get irritated, they narrow. If not controlled properly, it can greatly reduce the quality of life for those affected. In some cases severe asthma still leads to death. Queensland was recently ranked third in the nation for asthma deaths.
What causes Asthma?
Some patients will have a link to personal or family history of allergies such as hay fever and eczema. It is also likely that exposure to irritants such as pollution and cigarette smoke while young plays a part.
There are a variety of different triggers for asthma attacks including:
- allergic asthma – allergic reaction such as to pollen
- non-allergic asthma – cigarette and bushfire smoke or heavy pollution
- occupational asthma – due to certain chemicals in the workplace
- exercise-induced asthma
- nocturnal asthma – occurring during the night
- storm-related asthma – associated with release of triggers during thunderstorms.
What are the symptoms of Asthma?
Symptoms vary between people but commonly include a persistent cough and wheezing.
There are also some ‘silent’ symptoms of asthma. These are not immediately identifiable as they do not always have an audible side effect. These can include pain or tightness in the chest or difficulty breathing.
These silent symptoms can have other impacts such as causing dizziness and fatigue. A quick guide to identifying if someone, particularly a child or infant, is suffering silently from asthma may be found here. https://asthma.org.au/about-asthma/understanding-asthma/asthma-symptoms/
What can I do if I suspect I am suffering from Asthma?
First and foremost speak to your GP to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe the best asthma medications for you. Contact Reydon Street Medical Centre to arrange an appointment. Read more and check out links to Videos on using Inhalers and Kids education on our Asthma management page
Asthma Australia also recommend having an action plan, as this can help you keep track of your asthma and ensure you have a plan to everything is under control, and what to do if it is not.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from undiagnosed asthma or wish to review your current treatment plan book an appointment at Reydon Street Medical Centre today.