What is asthma?
- Asthma is a lifelong lung disease.
- It causes attacks of wheezing, breathing difficulties, a tight chest and coughing.
- Asthma attacks occur when something (a trigger) bothers the lungs.
- The goal of asthma treatment is to have as few symptoms as possible and to prevent attacks.
What can help you reach your goal for asthma?
If you need help to quit, ask your healthcare worker.
Manage your triggers
Identify and avoid things that might trigger your asthma symptoms.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise 5 days a week.
- Try some exercises in your home or yard.
- Do the sweeping, work in the garden or dance to your favourite music.
- Take part in an exercise programme on TV or online.
- Walk instead of using transport. Take the stairs instead of the lift.
Keep a check on your condition
- Tell your healthcare worker about your symptoms at every visit.
- Your healthcare worker might check your peak expiratory flow to see how forcefully you can breathe out.
Take your medication as instructed
Prevent asthma attacks by taking your medication regularly and treating an attack as soon as it starts.
- Know what your medication is for and how to take it.
- There are two kinds of inhalers: relievers and controllers:
- The reliever (e.g. salbutamol) relieves symptoms but does not control asthma.
- The controller (e.g. budesonide, beclomethasone or fluticasone) prevents but does not relieve symptoms. This is the mainstay of treatment.
- Inhalers work only if used correctly. A spacer helps to deliver medication to the lungs and to prevent a sore mouth.
- Make sure you can use an inhaler (and spacer if needed) properly:
Seal your lips.
Press and breathe in.
Take 4 breaths keeping spacer in mouth.
- Check the medication list to understand how your medication works and what side effects it might cause.
- If unsure how to use your medication, ask your healthcare worker.
Know when to seek healthcare
If you are breathing too fast to speak properly, visit the healthcare facility urgently today.
Make contact with your healthcare facility if:
- You run out of medication.
- You don’t understand how to take your medication.
- You have an appointment for a check-up.