Asthma attacks set to soar this winter

Asthma attacks set to soar this winter

Australians with asthma are being warned to be extra vigilant during winter, as hospitalisations due to asthma are set to spike, particularly for adults above 65 years.

Respiratory infections typically rise during winter, with the common cold being the cause of 4 out of 5 asthma flare-ups or attacks. Older people and those with severe asthma who get the flu may be at risk of more serious complications like pneumonia.

Australia has one of the highest prevalence rates of asthma in the world, with 1 in 10 people, or over 2 million Australians impacted by the condition. Hospitalisations due to asthma are highest during the winter period for adults.

Winter asthma check list
It is important that Australians with asthma make sure their lungs are in the best possible shape for winter. The National Asthma Council recommends the following key steps to deal with asthma:

1. Get your lungs checked See your doctor for an asthma review before the cold and flu season arrives. Your doctor can check the health of your lungs and work out if you need to change your asthma medicines so you stay well over winter.

2. Follow your asthma action plan Together with your doctor, develop or update your personal written asthma action plan with instructions on how to manage your asthma over winter. This asthma plan can also be stored on the Asthma Buddy app which ensures you can act quickly wherever you are to prevent a mild flare-up from turning into a serious one.

3. Protect yourself Keep warm if cold air triggers your asthma. Avoid contact with anyone who's sick and control germs by washing your hands regularly. You can also ask your doctor about a flu vaccination.

4. Use your medications wisely Tell your doctor if you have been using your reliever puffer more than twice a week or are having asthma symptoms at night. These are important signs that your lungs may not be in the best condition for winter colds and flu. If you have been prescribed a preventer medication make sure you use it - even if you feel well.

5. Take Extra Care if You are Over 65 Colds and flu can hit extra hard in seniors with asthma so ask your doctor about flu and/or pneumonia vaccinations. Make sure you're taking your medicines the best way - ask your pharmacist or nurse to check you're using your puffer or inhaler correctly.

This information was taken from the National Council Asthma Australia. For more information you can also go to the Asthma Buddy App.

Asthma attacks set to soar this winter