What is Asthma?
Asthma is the temporary narrowing of hypersensitive airways due to inflammation.
Salbutamol (the blue puffer) temporarily relieves asthma by opening up the airways for a short period of time. If you find yourself using the Reliever more than 3 times a week, then you should also be taking a Preventor (Clenil) every day. The Preventor reduces inflammation around the airways. If you have a Preventor but still find you are using the Reliever too often (more than 4 times a day or in the middle of the night more than once a week), you should book into see the Nurse for a review.
In fact, patients simply only taking their Blue reliever without a Preventor have had sudden deaths which is why we are only ALLOWED to prescribe ONE blue inhaler each time.
Hyperventilation it isn't the whole story though. Lots of people (including asthmatics) take very frequent shallow breaths, rather than long deep breaths and this gives a restricted feeling. Sometimes it can even give tingling in the hands. Learning to breathe properly can help some people and even 'cure' what was initially thought to be asthma. You could try a Lung Trainer but should always check with a clinician before use.
Inflammation can be triggered by things that you are allergic too. In some asthmatics, the temporary narrowing (constriction) of the bronchi (airways) can be triggered by cats, dogs or house dust mites. This can be seen in the nose in the way of redness and polyps; an over the counter nasal spray may help.
Improving your general fitness level will help your asthma. There are some asthmatics that only wheeze with exercise, and only take a blue Reliever before starting to exercise. But fitness is important to your overall health.
Keeping an eye on your Peak Flow readings will help you manage your asthma properly.
Inhaler technique is important. Clenil should ideally only be used through a Volumatic Spacer.
We are obliged to review your asthma at least once a year. Often, people put up with their symptoms or just put their breathlessness down to being unfit. If you are unable to book an appointment with any of our nurses, download our questionnaire and drop it by. We will not be able to do prescriptions if an annual check is not done.
All of our nurses have Asthma training and depending on whether you need a review, have a problem with one of your medications or you have just been diagnosed, our reception team can book you in with the right clinician.