There’s good evidence to show that just three elements of basic asthma care can cut your risk of needing emergency treatment – and reduce any niggling symptoms affecting your life.
There’s lots you can do – for yourself, and with your GP or nurse – to make sure you get the care you deserve.
1. Use a written asthma action plan
If you do nothing else, do this. Use a written asthma action plan, and you’re four times less likely to end up in hospital with your asthma. Just fill it in with your GP or asthma nurse, then keep a picture on your phone to use or share whenever you need to.
Your plan will tell you what medicine to take and when, how to tell your asthma’s getting worse and what to do, plus help you spot the signs of an asthma attack that mean you need to call 999.
2. Check your inhaler technique
Using your inhaler in exactly the right way can make the difference between your medicine reaching your lungs where it’s needed, or up to half of it ending up wasted at the back of your throat or in your mouth. It’s easy to get into bad habits – and even a tiny tweak can improve your symptoms and reduce any chance of side effects.
3. Book in your annual asthma review
Think of this as your free asthma MOT. You can talk to your GP or asthma nurse about how you are, ask about any problems, and even check things like your peak flow readings so they can change your medicine or dose or reassure you that you can carry on as you are. You can also get your inhaler technique checked face to face. If your surgery hasn’t invited you for a review in the last 12 months, book an appointment yourself, and prep to make the most of that 10 minutes with our handy guide.