Asthma Awareness in August
Many of us take our ability to breathe almost for granted. We have at various stages perhaps had chest colds or blocked noses which are part and parcel of the cooler months.
For others, up to 1 in 9 Australians have reported having Asthma. Even though Australia’s climate is fairly moderate, 421 deaths occured due to asthma.
The definition of asthma symptoms is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. People with asthma experience episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to wide spread narrowing of the airways.
Factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices and environmental conditions may increase the risk of getting asthma. Symptoms although reversible in many instances can still be treated. Symptoms can be intermittent and pass with relatively no long lasting affects or can be severe and possibly life threatening.
Who Gets Asthma?
11% of the Australian population have asthma.
Around 2.5 million Australians (11% of the total population) have asthma, based on self-reported data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
What may trigger asthma?
Respiratory infections or colds
Irritants in the environment such as tobacco smoke or cold / dry air
Exposure to allergens such as dust mites and pollens
What Can you do if you have asthma?
Controlling asthma and understanding how to manage it is something that needs to be assessed specifically for the person and the kind of asthma they have. This will go a long way to improving quality of life and activities especially for younger patients and minimise episodes too.
Speak to you doctor to address any changes in your symptoms or if you are unsure about whether you are experiencing an episode of asthma.