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World Asthma Day 2021 – get your asthma under control

Ceri Banks, Peninsula Health’s Respiratory Clinical Research Nurse Consultant.

Asthma is a serious condition that affects 2.7 million Australians.

That’s why this World Asthma Day (WAD), Peninsula Health is encouraging all asthmatics within our community to take control of their condition.

“When people say they have ‘bad’ asthma, they are more often than likely to mean they have ‘uncontrolled asthma’”, says Ceri Banks, our Respiratory Clinical Research Nurse Consultant.

“Most asthma is controllable if patients are compliant with therapy, but studies have shown that 50% of patients take 50% of their medication, 50% of the time. No wonder there are so many uncontrolled asthmatics out there!”

How can I take control of my asthma?

There are two main ways in which members of our community can take control of their asthma:

1 – Assess whether your asthma is ‘controlled’ and take the Asthma Control Test

According to the Australian Asthma Handbook, a person has uncontrolled asthma if they:

  • Experience daytime symptoms more than twice per week
  • Use their reliever more than twice per week
  • Have limitations with their everyday activities, and
  • Experience symptoms at night or when they wake up.

A person with asthma should be living a life whereby they rarely experience asthma symptoms. If you tick any of these boxes, then your asthma is not controlled and you should see your GP for review.

You can also take the Asthma Control Test and receive your Asthma Score.

2 – Use your preventer medication, as prescribed, every day.

Today, most asthmatics rely on two separate treatments – a blue Ventolin ‘reliever‘ (short-acting medicine that addresses symptoms during an asthma flare-up), and a daily corticosteroid ‘preventer‘ (long-acting medicine that reduces the frequency of flare-ups and therefore the frequency of Ventolin use).

According to the National Asthma Council, adults and adolescents who have been prescribed preventer medication should take it every day, even when they have no symptoms.

What is more, the Australian Asthma Handbook was recently revised to offer a new treatment option – a ‘budesonide formoterol’ inhaler which acts as an as-needed reliever as well as a preventer (a ‘two-in-one’ treatment).

To learn more, patients should speak with their GPs, visit the National Asthma Council website, or visit the Asthma Time 2 Review website.

Dual-action budesonide formoterol devices – rapihaler and turbuhaler.