Media Releases

Five steps to breathing better & feeling better - World Asthma Day

By National Asthma Council · 11 May 2016

Australians with asthma are encouraged to breathe better and feel better on World Asthma Day (May 3 2016) by following a five-step healthy living plan from the National Asthma Council Australia. 

Currently, there are 2.5 million people living with asthma in Australia, which is more than the population of Brisbane. Asthma affects one in 10 children and adults.

Associate Professor Ian Charlton from the National Asthma Council’s General Practitioner Advisory Group said that the good news is asthma can be controlled.

“It’s all about knowing what to do. As well as understanding your asthma triggers and medicines, there are everyday healthy lifestyle choices you can make to help stop asthma holding you back,” said Dr Charlton.

The National Asthma Council has compiled a five step plan to help you breathe better and feel better with asthma.

  • Get moving– Whether you want to dance all night, score the winning goal or chase after the grandkids, don’t let your asthma stop you being physically active. If getting active causes asthma symptoms, tell your doctor so you can get the right treatment.
  • Eat well– A healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegies (and not too many take-aways!) is good for your lungs as well as your waistline. There’s no need to avoid dairy foods unless you have a diagnosed dairy food allergy or intolerance.
  • Aim for a healthy bodyweight– Being overweight can make asthma harder to manage, plus lead to sleeping problems or reflux. If you are overweight, losing just 5 or 10kg could make you feel better and breathe more easily. Start by talking to your doctor.
  • Speak up if you need to– Asthma can be harder to manage if you have depression or anxiety, and asthma can also affect your mental health. If your asthma is getting you down or you feel anxious, talk to your doctor.
  • Go smoke-free– Smoking and asthma is a dangerous combination. Smoking, or breathing in other people’s smoke damages your lungs and stops your asthma puffers working properly. Your doctor or pharmacist can help, or contact Quitline (13 QUIT).

With winter around the corner Dr. Charlton also reminded those who have asthma to get a flu shot.

“Having the flu on top of asthma can be life-threatening. Make sure you’re protected – the flu vaccine is free for many people with asthma," said Dr. Charlton.

Taking care of your asthma also involves:

  • Seeing your doctor for regular asthma check-ups
  • Following an up-to-date written asthma action plan, prepared with your doctor
  • Taking your preventer medicines regularly, as prescribed
  • Checking your inhaler technique with your pharmacist or practice nurse
  • Understanding what triggers your asthma and how to manage this

More than 300 million people worldwide have asthma. World Asthma Day is annual event aimed at improving asthma awareness and care around the world.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. People with asthma experience episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways. Although there is currently no cure for asthma, with the right knowledge and good management, most people with asthma can lead full and active lives.

Media enquiries

For further information, or to arrange an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact:

Lelde McCoy 
The Reputation Group
Tel: 03 92341205  Mob: 0417362768
Email: [email protected]