Asthma can affect anyone of any age group, but is especially concerning in the very young or elderly. Blamey St Surgery can help create an Asthma Treatment plan that should minimise the impact that Asthma has on a patient.
Asthma treatment is based on two important goals:
relief of symptoms
preventing future symptoms and attacks from developing
Depending on how severe your asthma is, we may prescribe you one or more types of asthma medicine:
A reliever medicine relaxes the airway muscles and makes it easier to breathe when you have asthma symptoms. If you find you are using your reliever more often than two times a week, you should see your doctor.
A preventer medicine helps to reduce the inflammation in your airways. It should be taken every day, even when you have no symptoms.
A symptom controller relaxes the airway muscles for 12-24 hours, helping to reduce the symptoms of asthma. Symptom controllers are always used with an inhaled corticosteroid medicine (preventer).
A combination medication contains both a preventer and a symptom controller in one inhaler.
Treatment should be designed to ensure your asthma is well controlled. This means:
you don’t have symptoms on more than two days a week
you don’t need your reliever medication on more than two days a week
your asthma doesn’t limit what you can do
you don’t have symptoms at night or when you wake up
We will regularly review your overall asthma management plan, including how well your medicines are working.
Asthma medicines are usually given by inhalers (called meter dose inhalers, or MDIs), commonly referred to as ‘puffers’. Other delivery devices deliver the drug using a dry powder. Puffers and dry powder inhalers are devices that deliver the drug directly into the airways through your mouth when you breathe in and require some training to ensure an effective technique.
Using your inhaler properly is important. To check you are using your inhaler as effectively as possible or if you have any confusion about your asthma management plan, please make an appointment and so that we can clarify any issues you might have.
Often inhalers work better if given through a spacer, though many patients are unaware of this, and not receiving an adequate amount of medication. A spacer is a large plastic container with a mouthpiece at one end and a hole for the inhaler at the other. Spacers should be used by:
all children - aged under 4-5 years will need a mask attached to the spacer
all adults taking a corticosteroid preventer medication using an MDI/puffer
adults who have trouble coordinating the ‘press and breathe’ technique when using an MDI/puffer
anyone taking a reliever medication during an asthma attack