Media Releases

Helping patients get their asthma under control on World Asthma Day

6 May 2019

The National Asthma Council Australia asked consumers what they most wanted to know about asthma and allergy and today, on World Asthma Day, their asthma experts are providing healthcare professionals with the answers.

National Asthma Council Director and general practitioner, Professor Amanda Barnard says that with asthma affecting 10 per cent of Australians and allergies affecting one in five, it’s natural that patients have questions about how they can better manage their asthma and allergies.

‘Given asthma’s high prevalence in the community and the range of questions we received in the lead up to World Asthma Day, it’s imperative that we help Australians be better informed about their condition while making sure they take a proactive approach to reviewing their asthma management and care.

‘This World Asthma Day, not only are we reminding patients to discuss their asthma with their doctor, review their written asthma action plan, update their My Health Record if they have opted-in and get their annual influenza vaccination, we’re also equipping health care professionals with the patient resources and Australian Asthma Handbook information they need below to continue making a lasting difference to their patients lives,’ says Professor Barnard.


Patient Query

Advice for patients

Consumer Resource

Health Professional Resource

Spacers, do adults and children need them? I've heard conflicting advice.

Everyone who uses a metered dose inhaler (mdi) or puffer for their medications should use a spacer. Breathing the medicine in through a spacer allows more of the medicine to reach the small airways of the lungs and helps prevent side effects.

Spacer Use and Care Factsheet


Handbook reference  

I’ve got asthma and I’m pregnant; should I avoid or stop taking my asthma medication?

No, don’t stop taking them as many women find their asthma changes during pregnancy. Medications for asthma have been shown to be very safe for both mother and baby and stopping them can put you and your baby at risk. Discuss your medications and how to take them before and during pregnancy with your doctor.

Pregnancy and Asthma Factsheet

Handbook reference

I take medications for allergic rhinitis related to my asthma. Should I try complementary therapies?

When considering complementary therapies, look at whether studies have been done which provide evidence that the therapy is proven to work for asthma. If there is insufficient evidence, the complementary therapy is not recommended.

Complementary Therapy Brochure

Handbook Table 78

Is there a link between asthma and reflux?

Gastric reflux can mimic asthma or for those with asthma, reflux can make the symptoms worse. Discuss reflux management with your doctor.

Asthma and Healthy Living

Handbook reference

I'm over 65. How can I tell if it's really asthma or if it's emphysema?

Some people develop asthma for the first time in later adulthood. Discuss breathing problems with your doctor and undertake lung function testing as undiagnosed asthma is risky, or there could be another condition such as COPD or emphysema present.

Adult asthma factsheet

My Asthma Guide

Handbook reference

With at least one person dying each day in Australia as a result of their asthma, it’s imperative that health care professionals arm their patients with the knowledge and tools they need to manage this chronic condition.  

Follow us on Asthma Experts Twitter Feed or visit the NAC website, or Australian Asthma Handbook up-to-date information on asthma management and care.