Asthma is a common condition affecting the airways. It can affect anyone of any age although commonly starts during childhood. Symptoms are a wheeze, cough, chest tightness and feeling short of breath. It is usually easily treated with inhalers but can sometimes become serious and develop into a medical emergency.
Inhalers fall into two groups. The first type relieve the symptoms (hence the name relievers). These are typically blue in colour (ventolin, bricanyl, respigen, salbutamol). They should only be used when you have asthma symptoms as listed above. The second group stop you getting asthma (commonly called preventers). These need to be used every day to work. It usually takes two - four weeks after starting them to notice any benefit.
A third group of inhalers combine both these types together. These usually are reserved for those who do not respond to the first two inhalers. Commonly we get people to use spacers with their inhalers. This generally makes the inhalers work better.
Many things make your asthma worse (e.g. smoking, infections, airborne allergens, exercise, pets and dust etc).
At Health New Lynn both doctors and nurses are trained to assess you for asthma, and its severity. Your asthma/asthma control will be assessed using the computer based GASP tool. Your inhaler technique will be reviewed by our asthma nurses. We use peak flow measurements and where necessary we can do a spirometry assessment on you (especially if it is not clear if you have asthma).
Please make an appointment with your doctor or with the asthma nurse at our clinic.