Media Releases

Helping you get your asthma under control on World Asthma Day

7 May 2019

Today is World Asthma Day and the National Asthma Council Australia is here to help Australians take control of their asthma and allergies by answering the top five questions – asked by you! 

National Asthma Council Asthma and Respiratory Educator Marg Gordon says that with asthma affecting 10 per cent of Australians and allergies affecting one in five, it’s only natural that people have questions about how to better manage their asthma and allergies.

‘From using spacers to asthma diagnosis in older Australians; how to manage asthma when pregnant to the effect of fragrances on asthma and allergies; you asked us questions in the lead up to World Asthma Day and now we - the asthma experts - are here to give you answers,' says Ms Gordon.

On World Asthma Day we’re dispelling myths and providing accurate and expert information on our Asthma Experts and Sensitive Choice Facebook and Instagram. Ms Gordon points out however that the best way to prevent and manage asthma is for Australian’s to take a proactive approach by visiting their doctor for a check-up.

‘While you’re at your doctor, make sure you take a few important steps such as getting your lungs checked, reviewing and updating your written asthma action plan, and if you have a My Health Record making sure information about your asthma and any medications is captured on the system.

‘As we near cold and flu season people with asthma can be hit particularly hard as symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing become exacerbated, and the risk of a flare-up increases – so it’s crucial to protect yourself by getting an annual flu vaccine,' says Ms Gordon.

Patient Query

Advice for patients

Consumer 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 as breathing the medicine in through a spacer allows more of it to reach the small airways of the lungs and helps prevent side effects.  

Spacer Use and Care Factsheet

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

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

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

Is there a connection between fragranced consumer products and asthma?

People who have asthma can have a variety of triggers so fragrances may affect some people and make their asthma symptoms worse. It's important to understand your asthma triggers as this may help to keep your asthma well controlled.

Asthma triggers

With at least one person dying each day in Australia as a result of their asthma, despite the majority of these deaths being preventable, it’s imperative that those with asthma arm themselves with the knowledge and tools they need to breathe better. 

Follow us on Asthma Experts and Sensitive Choice Facebook and Instagram pages to find out more or visit the NAC website for how-to videos, tips and information on asthma and allergies.

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