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ASTHMA

What is Asthma?
Asthma is a long term common condition where the airways in the lung become inflamed (swollen) and therefore the airways become narrower, also phlegm becomes thicker and stickier.

Inflamed airways can become twitchy and narrow in response to a wide range of triggers for example cold air, pollen or cigarette smoke.  Symptoms can be any or all of the following:

  • Cough
  • Wheeze
  • Shortness of breath
  • A feeling of chest tightness

Most asthma patients will require regular every day treatment to reduce the above symptoms and also treatment for relief when acute symptoms occur.  Your treatment will depend on how troublesome your asthma is and may change from time to time.  The aim is to keep you well and your asthma controlled on the lowest possible dose of medicine.
If asthma is suspected there are several methods by which it can be diagnosed.  The method will be determined by the GP/Practice Nurse.  Once diagnosed with asthma the patient will be commenced on the most appropriate treatment in the asthma clinic.
Asthma review
It is recommended that if treatment is changed or symptoms are not under control you will be asked to attend a review appointment the time will be set by the clinician or doctor.
The review will include the following:

  • Recording of symptoms and pattern of symptoms
  • Height and weight (BMI)
  • Exercise activity and ability
  • Associated conditions
  • Determination of asthma type (i.e. exercise or pollen induced)
  • Asthma trigger factors
  • Allergies
  • Family History
  • Smoking status and smoking cessation advice
  • Peak flow reading
  • Inhaler technique and evaluation
  • Exacerbation and hospital admissions
  • Asthma management plan

Review appointment: what to expect

  • Repeat peak flow
  • Daily symptoms review
  • Asthma Management plan review

Appointments for Asthma annual review are arranged and the booking for revisit done.

Clinics for Asthma checks are held every Wednesday at Nazareth Hospital.

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