Many older people assume that laboured breathing is a normal part of ageing, but they may actually be experiencing asthma.
Asthma occurs in one in nine Australians and was responsible for 441 deaths in 2017.
This lung condition impacts 2.7 million Australians and those suffering from asthma are morelikely to report fair to poor health and a poor quality of life. Asthma costs Australians around $28 billion dollars each year – that’s $11,740 per person with asthma.
It is more deadly and common among people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. If you have relatives with asthma or allergies, or experience hayfever or eczema, you are also more likely to suffer from asthma.
It is more common in women than men. According to the Asthma in Australia Infographic, 300 of the 441 people who died from asthma in 2017 were female, while 141 were male.
Common symptoms to look out for include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing and coughing.
These symptoms may come and go, and you may experience either all or only a few of them. If they are reoccurring, triggered by exercise, allergies or infection, get worse at night or improve with reliever medication you are likely to be diagnosed with asthma.
Shockingly, only one in five people with asthma have a written asthma action plan, placing themselves at risk should they experience an asthma attack.
If you are having serious breathing problems, it’s important to visit your doctor to get assistance and a diagnosis.
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.
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