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Asthma: How to take extra care during spring

Many of us remember the kid in primary school, even high school who carried around a puffer and knew that when playing on the ovals they could break down into a fit of coughing at any time. They would struggle on cold mornings to breathe easy but come the spring time it was a whole nother level. Well spring is approaching and below is our guide to asthma and how to reduce your risk in the upcoming months.

What is Asthma

Asthma is the inflammation of the lungs making it harder to breathe. The sensitive lungs of people with asthma are triggered by any number of stimulus and the muscles around the airways begin to tighten, the airways swell and become narrow with mucus. When people are triggered rapidly it is often referred to as an asthma attack. With one in nine people in Australia suffering this is far from a niche issue.

The most common symptoms of asthma include:

- Being short of breath

- Continual coughing

- Tightness throughout the chest

Asthma can be caused by a number of issues including family history of airway related disease including asthma, hayfever and eczema, exposure to tobacco smoke obesity, premature birth and exposure to certain chemicals.

While asthma is not regarded as curable the issue can be managed on a day tp day basis to help sufferers persist through the symptoms. Treatment can be divided into two sources including preventers and relievers. Relievers include Ventolin better known as the puffer and can be used when wheezing heavily to the point where you have trouble breathing. Preventers are often taken in small doses every day by adults suffering with asthma and include inhaled corticosteroid. These are usually only prescribed to people who are suffering on a regular basis.

Protecting yourself during spring

With the extra pollen filling the air during the spring time, here is just a few ways you can help prevent the onset of heavy asthma symptoms:

1. Avoid being outdoors during heavy pollenated times (including storms, windy days and mornings)

2. Shower after playing outdoors. The pollen sticks to your body.

3. Always wear a mask when gardening and keep your lawn short.

4. Try to workout indoors as much as possible.

5. Opt for air conditioning instead of open windows when driving. Make sure your air conditioning is set to recirculate.

6. Manage your asthma with medication (preventers and relievers)

7. Stay healthy by maintaining fitness and avoiding tobacco smoke.



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