It’s time to get ready for spring and summer. If you’re living with asthma, that means making sure you stay well throughout the warmer months. Take a look at our top tips for a happy and healthy season.
Spring clean your medicine cupboard
With one in four of us admitting to using an out-of-date medicine, spring is the ideal time for a clear out.1 Medicines are tested carefully to make sure they deliver the same results from the day they’re made up to their expiry date. After this point, there’s no data to deny that they could become less effective and cause unwanted side effects. That’s why it’s so important that you make sure the medicines you use are in date, especially if you’re asthmatic and relying on them when you become short of breath.
If you find that you need to replace an inhaler or pick up some more hay fever tablets, you can order more today through our Asthma or Allergy Clinic. All you’ll need to do is complete a quick and confidential online consultation, which you can do without needing to book an appointment in advance.
Watch out for pesky pollen
Unfortunately, asthma and allergies go hand in hand, with up to 80% of people with asthma also suffering from allergies.2 If you’re one of these people, the start of the hay fever season can be tricky.
The key to keeping control of your symptoms is being mindful of your triggers. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what triggers your asthma. The best way to figure this out is to keep a diary of when your symptoms become worse. That way you can work out the common cause. Remember, allergies aren’t restricted to the spring and summer months – tree pollen starts as early as January and February, and grass and weed pollen continues right through until late September.2
Hay fever in particular can cause problems with your asthma. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen which can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, sneezing, itchy eyes and ears, and congestion. It’s not just restricted to grassy fields, either—pollen is carried in the air. Thankfully, you can get daily pollen reports from the Met Office, which are helpful for planning your day. Keep your windows shut where possible, and try wearing sunglasses to prevent pollen from aggravating your eyes.
Taking a daily antihistamine tablet can also really help to minimise your hay fever symptoms and keep spring allergies from aggravating your asthma. Visit our Allergy Clinic to find out more.
As long as your asthma is controlled, it shouldn’t stop you from exercising. Take it easy—build up your exercise slowly and always carry your reliever inhaler with you just in case you become short of breath. Remember, it’s normal to breathe harder and faster when you’re exercising, but if you’re coughing, wheezing and experiencing tightness in the chest, this is a sign that your asthma has been triggered. That means that you need to stop, take your reliever inhaler and only start again when you feel in control of your breathing.
If you think that exercise is one of your triggers, you should talk to your GP or asthma nurse. To have better control over your symptoms while exercising, it’s a good idea to warm up and down for at least 10 minutes. Where possible, let someone in the vicinity know that you have asthma and what they should do to help if you become short of breath.
It might also be a good idea to get an extra asthma reliever inhaler to keep in your gym bag or car so that you never get caught short. Always make sure that you’re taking your medicines as directed by your healthcare professional. Usually, this means taking preventer inhalers regularly every day and reliever inhalers only when required.
Book an asthma review
To make sure that you’re using the right medication and tracking any changes in your condition, it’s advisable to have a yearly asthma review with your GP or asthma nurse. They’ll be able to provide you with a written asthma action plan, which advises you on what to do if your symptoms become worse or you have an asthma attack. It’s really important that you get one of these plans, as they reduce the risk of having an asthma attack or being admitted to hospital. Download one from the Asthma UK website, or talk to your GP or asthma nurse today.3
Don’t wait for the wheeze
Get your asthma preventer and reliever inhalers with same day collection or next day delivery from the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor Asthma Clinic.
1. LloydsPharmacy – http://blog.lloydspharmacy.com/news/spring-clean-medicines/
2. Asthma UK – https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/pollen/
3. Asthma UK – https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/manage-your-asthma/action-plan/