Hot weather can cause an increase in symptoms for people who have existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma. 5.4million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy this summer:
Use your inhalers effectively
The inhalers, which are preventers (they’re generally brown coloured), work over a period of time building up the protective effect. They need to be taken every day, usually morning and evening, even when you are feeling well. During the summer holidays, make sure that children continue to take their preventers.
Keep in contact with your healthcare team
Asthma is a long-term condition and you should be in contact with your healthcare team if you experience any cough, wheeze or waking at night with your breathing. Practice nurses are able to give medication support and advice. Your local pharmacists can provide expert guidance on how to help manage your asthma and give advice on inhaler technique.
Plan ahead when exercising
Using a reliever inhaler (usually blue coloured) 10-15 minutes before you exercise, and again during or after prolonged exercise, can help control your symptoms. Try to structure your exercise plan around short activities and warm up properly.
Treat hay fever early
If pollen makes your hay fever or asthma worse, you should talk to your doctor or asthma nurse about treatments. Keeping windows closed at night and not drying your clothes outside on days where the pollen count is high is also advised.
For more information and advice, visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/summerhealth or ring NHS 111.
For patients using inhalers to help with their breathing it is important that they are used properly to ensure the maximum benefit is obtained. There are now a huge variety of different inhalers on the market all of which work in a slightly different way which can be confusing for patients.
If you are unsure how to use your inhaler you can speak to your GP, practice nurse or community pharmacist who will be able to go through the process with you. We also have a number of videos covering all current inhaler types which may help support the advice you have already been given or just act as a reminder on the best way to use.
Leaflets are also available to download if you prefer written advice.