Many of us might be looking forward to warmer spring weather, but for asthma sufferers the heat and humidity can trigger wheezing, shortness of breath and increase the likelihood of an attack.

So how do you keep your symptoms under control? With 1 in 10 people living with asthma in the UK, Dr Nighat joins us in the studio to help you manage the condition during the spring and summer months, and share information which could save your life.

What are the main symptoms of asthma?

What are the treatments for asthma?

(Inhalers can come in aerosol form or as dry powder inhalers, both are effective options.)

What is an asthma attack?

Asthma can sometimes get worse for a short time - this is known as an asthma attack. It can happen suddenly, or gradually over a few days. Signs include: 

  • Wheezing, coughing and chest tightness becoming severe and constan

  • Being too breathless to eat, speak or sleep 

  • Breathing faster 

  • A fast heartbeat 

  • Drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion or dizziness

  • Blue lips or fingers 

  • Fainting 

What should you do during an asthma attack?

  • Sit up straight and try to keep calm. 

  • Take one puff of the reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30 to 60 seconds - up to 10 puffs. 

  • If you feel worse at any point, or you do not feel better after 10 puffs, call 999.

  • If the ambulance has not arrived after 10 minutes and symptoms remain, repeat step 2. 

What should you do after an asthma attack?:

You should see a GP or asthma nurse within 48 hours of leaving hospital, or ideally on the same day. About 1 in 6 people treated in hospital for an asthma attack need hospital care again within 2 weeks, so it's important to discuss how to reduce your risk of future attacks.

So how can we manage asthma on a day-to-day basis?:

For asthma sufferers, there are steps that can be taken every day to help, such as: 

  • Using an inhaler correctly. 

  • Using a preventer inhaler or tablets every day. 

  • Using your peak flow to monitor lung capacity. 

  • Checking before taking other medicines. 

  • Not smoking or vaping. 

  • Exercising often (exercise should not trigger symptoms when on appropriate treatment.) 

  • Eating healthily. 

  • Getting vaccinated- it's a good idea to have the annual flu jab and the one-off pneumococcal vaccination. 

  • Check in with your asthma nurse once annually for a review. 

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