As smoke from fires along the east coast of Australia continues to impact on air quality, NPS MedicineWise has issued a reminder to people with breathing conditions to follow advice from their doctor and healthcare professionals, limit time spent outdoors and avoid vigorous exercise.
NPS MedicineWise medical adviser Dr Jill Thistlethwaite says that flare-ups of asthma can be triggered by bushfire smoke, so asthma sufferers need to know their asthma triggers, take their medicines as directed and have a reliever inhaler for use as indicated in their asthma plan.
“Having and following a written asthma plan can provide better control of asthma symptoms, resulting in fewer asthma flare-ups and fewer hospital visits.”
Dr Thistlethwaite adds that health professionals can assist patients with their inhalers because using them can be tricky, which could be especially important when air quality is low.
The NPS MedicineWise website contains a wealth on inhaler technique for patients and health professionals alike.
She says people who especially need medical help are those who use their reliever medicine more frequently, have difficulty breathing, and whose chest tightness or increased wheezing are not responding to their inhaler as expected.
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For OTC and complementary health medicines information from a health professional, call Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424).