Colds and flu can hit hard if you have asthma. In fact, the common cold is behind around 4 out of 5 bad asthma attacks. Make sure your lungs are in the best possible shape for winter by following these steps.
See your doctor for an asthma review before the cold and flu season arrives. You can check the health of your lungs and work out if you need to make any changes to your asthma medicines so you stay well over winter.
Together with your doctor, develop or update your personal written asthma action plan with instructions on how to manage your asthma over winter. A written asthma action plan helps you recognise worsening asthma and tells you what to do in response. Acting quickly can help prevent a mild flare-up from developing into a serious attack.
Tell your doctor if you have been using your reliever puffer more than twice a week or are having asthma symptoms at night. These are important signs that your lungs may not be in the best condition for winter colds and flu. If you have been prescribed a preventer medication make sure you use it - even if you feel well.
All adults and children need careful training from a doctor, nurse, asthma educator or pharmacist to use inhaled medicines correctly. Proper use of inhalers helps medicines work properly, can reduce the risk of side-effects and is essential for good asthma management. The instructions are different for each type of inhaler device.
Follow your written asthma action plan - if you don't have one, contact your doctor to check what you should do.
Antibiotics are not recommended for treating viral infections like the common cold.