Australians with asthma are being asked to see their GP as the winter cold and flu season kicks in to avoid becoming a statistic.
Around 40,000 Australians are hospitalised and 400 die each year from asthma, with a spike in hospital admissions during winter for people of all ages – from pre-schoolers through to the elderly.
National Asthma Council Australia Chair, Dr Jonathan Burdon AM, urged a pro-active approach to managing asthma for the estimated 2.5 million Australians with the condition.
“During winter, respiratory tract infections typically increase. Those with asthma need to take positive steps to manage their asthma, and help prevent a flare-up turning into something more serious.
“The common cold is behind 4 out of 5 bad asthma flare-ups or attacks in winter. We are asking people with asthma to see their doctor for an asthma check-up before winter sets in to ensure their asthma medications and action plan are up to date, and to get a flu shot.”
Research has found that when people with asthma have an action plan and are engaged in their asthma management, they have fewer asthma flare-ups, take fewer days off work or school and reduce their reliever medication use. Most importantly, action plans help avoid emergency visits to the hospital and provide peace of mind for people with asthma and their families.
Dr. Burdon said that correct inhaler technique was another important factor in managing asthma, and with up to 9 out of 10 people using their inhaler incorrectly, the National Asthma Council Australia has also recently expanded its online “How to” video library.
“People with asthma need to ensure that they take their prescribed medicines, follow their written Asthma Action Plan and use their inhalers correctly,” said Dr. Burdon.
The National Asthma Council Australia has recently expanded its online “How to” video library, with two new videos showing how to use the inhaler for the preventer flutiform* (fluticasone propionate/formoterol), with and without a spacer. The flutiform inhaler is a metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) with dose counter.
Information and tools to help manage asthma, including the “How-to” videos, are available at the National Asthma Council Australia website: www.nationalasthma.org.au.
For further information, or to arrange an interview with a National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, please contact:
The Reputation Group
Tel: 03 96457755