When someone in your family is diagnosed with asthma, everyone is affected.
Growing up, my little sister had severe asthma, which put her in intensive care a number of times. While fortunately these instances were rare, life on a daily basis changed.
We would never leave the house without inhalers, we kept our distance if we felt a cold coming on, and I learnt to memorise instructions of how to use the inhaler properly should I ever be needed.
While asthma can be debilitating and unpleasant (especially for the sufferer), the good news is it can be managed. Here’s what anyone with someone who has asthma in their home needs to know and do:
1. Know the triggers.
There is no universal trigger for people with asthma. It can vary from the cold and flu to cigarette smoke or allergens like pollen and dust, or even your pet. Even changes in the weather can mean painful times ahead for some.
It’s vital to identify the trigger (or triggers) so you can manage and minimise the risk of an attack. The first place to start? Your home. Make sure you’re not letting mould grow and keeping things clean but avoiding cleaning products with too many chemicals and fragrances if that’s a trigger. Even changing the products you use to wash clothes can make a difference.
2. Talk to a pharmacist.
Does it all seem overwhelming? Head to your local TerryWhite Chemmart and talk to a pharmacist about medications and better asthma management. Even if it's old hat to you now, the season change from winter to spring can cause flair-ups of allergies and asthma, so it's a perfect time for a refresher.
They can help you with the symptoms to look out for, tell you more about the medication you or your child has been prescribed, how to use it and the proper way to use an inhaler and spacer. Here's some more information about their asthma services.