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Asthma Management

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Asthma Management
Summary
  • Asthma can cause narrowing of the small airways within the lungs.
  • Asthma affects approximately 1 in 5 children and 1 in 10 adults.
  • Asthma attacks can be caused by irritants including pollens, exercise and dust.
Description

Asthma can be well controlled with the appropriate medication in almost all Asthma sufferers. Asthma Management enables most people with Asthma to live a healthy and active life if they follow some simple steps.

The following are recommendations for the management of Asthma. In no way is this information intended to replace the advice of a medical practitioner. Always consult your Doctor for diagnosis and advice on the management of Asthma.

The aims of ongoing Asthma Management are: 1 - To minimise the symptoms of Asthma.

  • To maximise lung function and maintain the best lung function at all times.
  • To identify trigger factors.
  • To minimise the side effects of medication.
 

The steps involved in Asthma Management are: 2

  1. Know how severe your Asthma is.
  2. Achieve your best lung function.
  3. Avoid Asthma triggers.
  4. Stay at your best possible function.
  5. Work out an action plan with your Doctor.
  6. Check your Asthma regularly.
  • Management

    Your Doctor will help you develop an Action Plan to manage your Asthma. This plan will help you take control of your Asthma. An Action Plan is based on your own symptoms and/or peak flow measurements 3. Your Asthma Action Plan helps you to quickly recognise when your Asthma symptoms are becoming worse and recommends the steps to take in this situation.

    According to your Asthma Action Plan, when you are well, you will: 4 - Be free of regular, nighttime wheezing or coughing or chest tightness.

    • Have no regular wheeze or cough or chest tightness on waking or during the day.
    • Be able to take part in normal, physical activity without getting Asthma symptoms.
    • Need reliever medication less than 3 times a week (except if it is used before exercise).

    When you are not well, you will: 5 - Have increasing nighttime wheeze or cough or chest tightness.

    • Have symptoms regularly in the morning when you wake up.
    • Have a need for extra doses of reliever medication. 
    • Have symptoms which interfere with exercise.

    You may experience one or more of these symptoms.

    If your symptoms get worse, this is an acute attack, and you will: 6

    • Have one or more of the following: wheeze, cough, chest tightness or shortness of breath.
    • Need to use your reliever medication at least once every three hours or more often.

    Danger signs are: 7

    • Your symptoms get worse very quickly.
    • Wheezing or chest tightness or shortness of breath continue after using reliever medication or return within minutes of reliever medication.
    • Severe shortness of breath, inability to speak comfortably, blueness of the lips.

    These symptoms need URGENT medical attention. Call an ambulance if you experience these symptoms.

  • Notes

    Organisations & Support Groups

    Asthma Australia - http://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/


    References

    1. Asthma Management Handbook 1998. National Asthma Campaign. Available at URL: http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/amh/p18.htm.
    2. Controlling Adult Asthma. The Australian Lung Foundation. [cited 29 September 2000]. Available at URL: http://www.lungnet.org.au/asthma-adult-health.html.
    3. Asthma Management Handbook 1998. National Asthma Campaign. Available at URL: http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/amh/p33-35.htm.
    4. Asthma Action Plan for Adults. National Asthma Campaign. [cited 29 September, 2000]. Available at URL: http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/action/html/adults.html.
    5. Asthma Action Plan for Adults. National Asthma Campaign. [cited 29 September, 2000]. Available at URL: http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/action/html/adults.html.
    6. Asthma Action Plan for Adults. National Asthma Campaign. [cited 29 September, 2000]. Available at URL: http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/action/html/adults.html.
    7. Asthma Action Plan for Adults. National Asthma Campaign. [cited 29 September, 2000]. Available at URL: http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/action/html/adults.html.
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