After Hours GP Perth Tips for Creating an Action Plan to Manage Asthma
Posted: Jul 04, 2019
Australia has the highest number of people living with asthma in the world at approximately 2.3 million people. However, this condition is more than being another number; it can be traumatic for sufferers and their families with frequent hospital visits, stress, and financial costs. Fortunately, asthma doesn’t need to be a debilitating condition. Millions of asthma sufferers overcome the condition to lead a full life, including Olympic athletes Mark Spitz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Greg Louganis. The key is having an action plan to manage asthma, so here we have some After Hours GP Perth tips to help you.
The Importance of Action Plans
Whether young or old, asthma patients need to have an action plan, but statistics show that only 20% of asthma sufferers over the age of 15 and 41% of children have a written plan in place. Your asthma plan should contain medication schedules detailing daily dosage, but it should also list symptoms indicating the onset of an attack, first response during attacks and what is deemed an emergency. This plan can be kept in a designated spot for any family members or caregivers to refer to.
Remember that every asthma patient has different medication requirements, different triggers, and a unique need for urgent medical care. So, writing down a specific plan can be beneficial. It should also be reviewed and updated periodically by your home doctor. Perth parents also need to teach their children about the importance of an action plan that can be taken into later life.
Managing Asthma with Medication
Asthma is relatively easy to diagnose, but there is no known reason for why we have such a high rate here in Australia. Asthma causes sensitivity in the airways that react to triggers. The air supply is restricted as the muscles are squeezed tight, and this makes it very difficult to breathe.
Preventative medication reduces the sensitivity of the airways. When taken daily at the correct dosage, it can reduce the number and severity of the attacks. Your After Hours GP can help you to explore different medications to discover, which offers the best results for you.
Controlling Allergen Exposure
There are a number of allergens that can be common triggers for asthma sufferers. These include viral infections, cigarette smoke, chemicals, pollution, dust, smoke, or emotional factors such as stress. One way to keep attacks in check is to be aware of the allergens that can trigger an attack and control your environment where possible. This can include measures such as:
Watching the Pollen Count: If you have a pollen sensitivity when the pollen count is high, particularly in spring, you may need to try to stay indoors.
Regular AC Maintenance: Changing AC filters, cleaning ducts, and airing out the home can be an excellent way to manage your indoor environment. This will reduce the risk of dust and other allergens circulating your home. This is particularly important before winter when you’re likely to be spending more time inside.
Review Household Chemicals: Many household cleaning products contain chemicals that can be a trigger with those who have a sensitivity. So, it is a good idea to review the chemicals used in your home and consider swapping for more natural products that may not be as harsh.
Control Humidity: A dehumidifier will allow you greater control on your humidity levels and can also help to control mould.
If you have concerns about asthma, the After Hours GP Perth team is here to help.
If you would like further guidance to improve your health and wellbeing from an after hours GP, Perth residents should call us.