What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs, affecting the airways. Asthma can be minor, or can interfere with daily activities. In some cases, a severe Asthma attack can be life-threatening.
What are Asthma symptoms?
Asthma causes the airways to swell and narrow, along with an inreased production of mucus, resulting in symptoms such as:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Tightness in Chest
- Shortness of Breath
What causes Asthma?
Asthma can be caused by a number of triggers, resulting in a flare up. These situations can be:
- Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry.
- Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust.
- Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores and pet dander.
How to treat Asthma
As Asthma is a chronic (life-long) disease, it is important to be able effectively manage your Asthma condition.
This can be accomplished through the use of inhalers, limiting exposure to Asthma enducing environments, and forming an Asthma Action Plan.
Using a quick-relief inhaler such as Ventolin or Asmol can help manage asthma flare ups.
A peak flow meter (a device to measure how well your lungs are working) can be useful to manage the status of your Asthma.
Is there a cure for Asthma?
Currently there is no cure for Asthma.
What is a spacer?
A Spacer is a holding chamber that makes it easier to take Asthma medication from a metered dose inhaler.
Using an inhaler by itself can lead to the medication inhaled being collected at the back of your throat, rather than travelling entirely down into the lungs.
Spacers mix the medication with air in the chamber, allowing the medication to travel straight to where it's needed in your lungs.
Spacers can deliver up to 90% more medication to the lungs, leaving it clear from the mouth and back of the throat, where it can cause irritation or mild infections.
Do I need a spacer for my inhaler?
If you use a MDI (Metered Dose Inhaler), as spacer can help assist you. Spacers should be used by:
- all children – kids aged under 4–5 years will need a mask attached
- all adults taking a corticosteroid preventer medication (e.g. Flixotide, Symbicort) using an MDI/puffer
- adults who have trouble coordinating the ‘press and breathe’ technique when using an MDI/puffer
- anyone taking a reliever medication (e.g. Ventolin) during an asthma attack.