Last year Australians suffered the worst flu outbreak on record. The pharmacists at Flannery’s Pharmacy are urging people with asthma to not let colds and the flu inflame their symptoms this winter.
“Getting the flu can increase the symptoms of asthma including wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and tightness in the chest. If not treated properly, these symptoms can cause complications and even hospitalisation,” said Tracey Edwards, Pharmacist at Flannery’s Pharmacy.
Around 40,000 Australians are hospitalised and 400 die each year from asthma, with a spike in hospital admissions during winter for people of all ages – from preschoolers through to the elderly.
Tracey recommends having an asthma action plan and taking asthma medications as prescribed by your GP. “Getting a flu vaccination is very important as it reduces the risk of influenza,” said Tracey.
Winter asthma checklist:
• Get your lungs checked — see your doctor for an asthma check-up;
• Follow your asthma action plan;
• Keep warm and dry, if cold air triggers your asthma;
• Avoid contact with anyone who is sick and control germs by washing your hands regularly;
• Have a flu vaccination at the pharmacy or see your GP and
• Use a spacer in conjunction with your asthma medication. A spacer ensures you get more medication into your lungs, making your medication much more effective.
For more information about asthma medication, asthma devices and flu vaccinations, please call into Flannery’s Pharmacy and see our registered nurse, Rach Hayes or one of our pharmacists.