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Asthma Foundation Victoria


It is estimated that up to 600,000 Victorians and more than 2 million Australians have asthma. Approximately 15% of children have currently diagnosed asthma. Approximately 11% of adults have currently diagnosed asthma.

What is Asthma?

The narrowing of the air tubes in the lungs through muscle contraction, inflammation and production of excess mucus causing difficulty in breathing - i.e. the inhaling and exhaling of air. The cause is unknown.

While there is presently no 'cure' for asthma, correct diagnosis and adequate treatment and management of the condition will allow the majority of people with asthma to lead a full and active lifestyle.

Symptoms

difficulty in breathing, wheezing, tiredness, chest tightness, coughing, difficulty speaking

Major trigger factors

colds/infections, sudden weather and temperature changes, exercise, tobacco smoke, house dust mite, occupational irritants, pollens, food additives and preservatives, mould, certain medications animal dander, emotions/stress

THE SIX STEP ASTHMA MANAGEMENT PLAN

Step 1 - Know how severe your asthma is
Ask your doctor whether your asthma is mild, moderate or severe. Make sure you describe all your symptoms. If you are at risk of severe asthma attacks, you will need close follow-up.
Step 2 - Achieve your best lung function
Your doctor can help you find out how your lungs can function at their best. Taking the correct asthma medication is most important.
Step 3 - Identify and avoid your known asthma triggers
Try to avoid anything you know brings on your asthma.
Step 3 - Stay at your best
Understand your medications and use them as your doctor directs. This will control your symptoms and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.
Step 1 - Have a written Asthma Action Plan
Develop a written Asthma Action Plan with your doctor. This will help you to know how to recognise worsening asthma symptoms, how to treat them quickly and when to seek medical help.
Step 2 - Check your asthma regularly
Manage your asthma by following your personal written Asthma Action Plan and seeing your doctor regularly for asthma education and review. This will help control your asthma and achieve a better quality of life. The Asthma 3+ Visit Plan is a good way to do this. Ask your doctor about this program.

Take advantage of our resources, including pamphlets, booklets, website, videos and asthma equipment. For individual attention, phone The Asthma Foundation of Victoria to make an appointment.
Address 479 - 481 King Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
Tel 1800 278 462
Fax 03 9326 7055
Website www.asthma.org.au