Persistent bushfire smoke has affected many parts of Australia this summer, bringing an increased risk of asthma flare-ups.
It’s crucial to speak with your asthma patients about managing their symptoms, good asthma care and control, and steps they can take during bushfire season.
Check asthma control
It’s always important to check whether your patients have good asthma control, especially if air quality is creating challenging conditions.
Update Written Asthma Action Plans
Asthma action plans are an integral self-management tool to help people recognise when their symptoms are getting worse and know how to respond.
Make sure your patients have an up-to-date asthma action plan and know how to follow it.
Could it be undiagnosed asthma?
There may be people who don't realise they have asthma that are experiencing symptoms triggered by the smoke and poor air quality.
Be alert for symptoms that could signal asthma and refer to the Australian Asthma Handbook for information about diagnosis.
Steps to reduce smoke exposure
Staying inside, closing doors and windows and setting air conditioning to recirculate can help limit exposure to smoky conditions in the short-term.
For more information about steps people can take, from advice for prolonged smoke haze to information on masks, read the guidance from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and State and Territory Chief Health Officers.
Check device technique
Are your patients using their inhalers properly? Incorrect technique is common and can contribute to poor symptom control.
Our how-to video library includes demonstrations with the main types of inhalers.