Breathlessness, an irritating cough and a feeling of tightness in the chest are the typical symptoms of asthma. One form of this chronic respiratory disease is triggered by allergies (e.g. animal hair, mould spores, pollen, faeces from house dust mites etc.) while the other is entirely unrelated to allergies. This second type is generally referred to as “intrinsic asthma” and is much less common.
Asthma is currently considered incurable, but it does respond well to treatment. As a rule, asthmatics can lead a life free of symptoms as long as they take their medication correctly and regularly. Unfortunately, mistakes are often made in this area. As a result, those affected have to see a doctor frequently or end up in accident and emergency.
In order to prevent mistakes, the Swiss Lung League has compiled a series of instructional films with application tips for the following asthma sprays: Ellipta, Diskus, Dosieraerosol and Turbuhaler. It emphasizes that these asthma drugs only work if they are correctly inhaled. The following rules must be observed
- The inhaler must be loaded and operated correctly.
- The medication must find its way deep into the bronchial tubes.
- The medication must not be exhaled immediately.
Asthma can also be controlled to some extent by behaviour. Known triggers of allergic asthma should be avoided, but other triggers (e.g. cold, dry air, dust, cigarette smoke, chemical and physical irritants, odours, and locations with polluted air) can also cause discomfort. Contacts with triggers of all kinds should be kept to a minimum.