As our lives and surroundings change, our requirements for care can change as well. If you’re an asthma sufferer, it’s important to stay on top of your management plan.
At Ramsay Pharmacy, our qualified pharmacists can help to support you with asthma triggers and supporting treatments.
The asthma-hayfever connection
Around 80% of people who suffer from asthma also suffer from hayfever, and hayfever can trigger asthmatic reactions including coughs and attacks. People who suffer from both these conditions often have a family history of asthma, hayfever and eczema.
Symptoms can include feeling breathless, wheezing, chest tightness and a persistent cough, particularly at night, early in the morning or with exercise or after activity. It’s important to identify what triggers your asthma to help you prepare. Managing hayfever and allergies as part of your asthma care can also help control asthma flare-ups.
The good news is that there are treatments and advice available for asthma, eczema, hayfever and allergies at your local Ramsay Pharmacy, where the pharmacist will help you to decide which options are right for you, the season and your symptoms.
Are you using your asthma puffer correctly?
Around 90% of Australians do not use their inhaler correctly – and about three quarters of them don’t realise it. The right inhaler technique is extremely important, so here are our tips to achieve better delivery of your asthma medication for commonly-used asthma reliever inhalers such as Ventolin® and Asmol®;
- Use a spacer. Spacers slow down the speed of the medicine particles that leave the inhaler so they end up in your lungs where they are needed, rather than the back of your throat. The corticosteroid medicine found in most preventers can cause fungal infections such as oral thrush if medicine particles are deposited on the back of the throat, so technique is very important – and that includes using a spacer.
- Fire only one puff per breath. This applies whether or not a spacer is used. Firing multiple puffs results in far less medicine reaching the lungs than if you were to use one puff only per deep breath.
- Hold your breath for about 5 seconds after inhaling deeply. This helps to ensure the medicine has time to settle in the lungs so it can work. Breathe out through your nose.
- Wash your spacer out once a month, and after you have recovered from a cold or flu. Use normal dishwashing detergent solution, and allow it to air-dry (do not rinse). Also, don’t towel-dry your spacer after cleaning. This creates a static electricity charge on the walls of the spacer, and medicine particles tend to stick to the spacer rather than going into your lungs.
- Replace your spacer regularly. Spacers, like any device, can degrade over time and the valves can start to leak. If you are unsure, talk with your Ramsay Pharmacist who can check over your spacer. It is recommended to at least check, if not replace, your spacer after 12 months.
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