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, 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 for people with asthma, make sure you know your asthma triggers, take your medicines as directed and have a reliever inhaler for use as indicated in your asthma plan.
Having and following a written asthma plan can give you better control of your asthma symptoms, resulting in fewer asthma flare-ups and fewer hospital visits.
“We know that using an inhaler can be tricky, but good inhaler technique is key to getting the most from your medicines, which could be especially important when air quality is low,” she said.
“We encourage you to check your inhaler technique with a health professional or check out the tips on the NPS MedicineWise website.
“If you are needing to use your reliever medicine more frequently or you have difficulty breathing, chest tightness or increased wheezing which are not responding to your inhaler as you expect, seek medical help,” she said.
For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays).
Spokespeople are available for media interviews on Thursday 5 December and Friday 6 December 9:00-13:00 AEDT