Breathing in and breathing out. Many of us take this simple action for granted yet for those that live with asthma, it can become a serious challenge that can severely limit a person’s activities. National Asthma Awareness Week is on from the 1st to the 7th September. During this years Asthma Week, we’re all about busting the myths by stating the facts. Asthma is a condition that affects most Australians, 2/3rds in fact! Despite this, there are many misconceptions about this chronic disease. This Asthma Week, Busting Asthma Myths focuses on five facts about asthma along with new data on Australians perceptions and misperceptions about asthma.
What is Asthma?
Asthma directly affects the lungs when certain triggers cause swelling and a narrowing of the airways. This restrictive feeling in the airways along with the mucus that is produced makes it hard to breathe. Asthmatic episodes can occur over a longer period of time or within minutes. In Australia, one in ten people have a form of asthma and although there is no cure, symptoms can be controlled with an Asthma Management Plan.
Symptoms of Asthma Include:
- continuing cough
- tightness of the chest
- Short of breath
Symptoms may be triggered early in the morning or in the evening, or after activity, yet if an asthma management plan is followed then this will minimise symptoms.
Causes of Asthma
The direct cause of asthma is still proving to be elusive though to some extent may be hereditary. Environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, weight gain can increase the chance of the onset of asthma.
The best way to manage and reduce the severity of asthma symptoms is to take a proactive approach ensuring that medication and puffers are used correctly so that the right dose reaches the lungs during an asthmatic episode.
Speaking to your doctor about your medication or puffer, as well as potential side effects will give you the best chance to holistically manage asthma. Controlling asthma with a Management Plan can reward you with a full and active lifestyle. For more information about asthma call 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).