How to best manage your asthma in 2022

Dec 26, 2021
Managing asthma in the new year. Source: Getty Images.

As 2021 draws to a close, our thoughts turn to preparing for the year ahead and inevitably new year’s resolutions. Whether it’s a new fitness routine, quitting junk food, or reading more books, the new year is the perfect time to reassess bad habits from the previous year and identify new goals to conquer.

A lot of the most popular resolutions focus on health, and with 2021 proving to be a tough year for asthma sufferers following the ongoing pandemic and a number of severe thunderstorms affecting pollen levels, Starts at 60 spoke with Asthma Australia’s CEO, Michelle Goldman to find out how best asthma sufferers can prepare for the year ahead.

Goldman recommends starting the new year by having “an annual review if not twice a year to keep on top of your asthma”.

“Asthma is an individual disease that impacts everyone differently and it also changes month by month season by season as triggers and other things change in your life,” she said.

‘So it’s always important to see your doctor and make sure your asthma action plan is up to date, make any adjustments to medication so you can stay on top of it, and not have to think too much about it other than taking your medication and getting on with your life.”

 

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The regular storms of summer can prove a problematic time for asthma sufferers with certain thunderstorms causing a rise in high pollen levels following a change in weather conditions, triggering asthma symptoms. Goldman warns that asthma sufferers “should be more vigilant” as a severe thunderstorm season is predicted for the coming months.

“It can trigger symptoms and exacerbation that could lead to hospitalisation, so again see your doctor, make sure your asthma plan is up to date, and be vigilant in taking your preventative medications daily. Some people get a little bit relaxed around them (medications) especially when they are feeling well but that is just a sign that your medication could be working effectively,” she said.

“Also to have your reliever medication on hand so that if there is a storm or if you’re susceptible and have symptoms in response to high concentrations of pollen in the air, you can address it quickly rather than allowing it to deteriorate.”

 

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Concerns grew when Covid-19 reached our shores that asthma sufferers would be at greater risk of complications if they catch the virus, however, Goldman stresses “people with asthma are not at any greater risk of contracting the virus”.

“We know people with asthma have been very concerned about the coronavirus. That might be a factor with people with asthma being more vigilant and maintaining good hand hygiene and wearing masks. We would just encourage people with asthma to continue to take precautions to avoid being susceptible,” she said.

“If you do get it and you go to hospital there is a slightly higher chance that you be admitted to ICU and a slightly higher chance you could be ventilated, we don’t know if that is because doctors might be extra cautious because you have a respiratory condition or whether you have a more serious version. Either way, it does mean doing what you can to avoid getting it in the first place.”

For more information on asthma call 1800 278 462 where Asthma Educators are available to answer your asthma questions and provide support for not only people with asthma but their carers.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

Is your asthma action plan up to date?

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