Seasonal hay fever, in spring and summer, occurs when pollen concentrations are very high. For many people with asthma, having hay fever can worsen their asthma.
Asthma is a chronic, generally reversible disease of the airways. People with asthma have sensitive airways which can react to particles in the air. The tiny airways in the lungs constrict, the lining of these airways become swollen and mucus is produced.
Common asthma symptoms include;
You do not have to have all of the above symptoms to be diagnosed with asthma. If you suspect that you may have asthma, it is important that you visit your Doctor (GP). Only a doctor can make a diagnosis of asthma and prescribe the right medication. Most importantly, your doctor will provide you with a personalised asthma action plan that includes information on your asthma medication and what to do in an asthma emergency.
Signs you are having an asthma attack
Visit the National Asthma Council Australia for the four steps of asthma first aid.
In an asthma emergency call an ambulance immediately on 000. Tell the operator that this is an asthma emergency.
There are a range of medicines available for people with asthma to manage and control their symptoms. The most common types of asthma medications are preventers and relievers.
To help get the medication straight to where it’s needed, all children should use a spacer for both reliever and preventer puffers.
Adults and adolescents are also recommended to use a spacer with their puffer.
Ensure that you use your medicines correctly – ask your doctor, clinic nurse or pharmacist to demonstrate.
If you need to use your reliever inhaler more than two days per week, other than before exercise, your asthma may not be well controlled and you should see your doctor.
Regardless of the medication, make sure you have an up-to-date asthma action plan.
Asthma triggers can be different from one person to another. Common triggers include;
Allergy occurs when a person's immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless for most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found in house dust mites, pets, pollen, moulds, foods and some medicines.
Asthma and allergies are closely linked. Allergens can cause inflammation of the airways and trigger asthma symptoms. More than 8 in 10 people with asthma are affected by allergy.
Many people with asthma also have hay fever. Hay fever is the common name for allergic (or seasonal) rhinitis. See the Hay fever page for more information.