Asthma is a chronic condition that is triggered by allergens or hypersensitivities, resulting in inflammation and narrowing of the airways.
It occurs in adults, but often starts in childhood. It is estimated that 1 in 4 New Zealand children suffer from asthma.
In the event of an asthma attack, breathing will become difficult and laboured, particularly exhaling.
Asthma attacks can range in severity, with severe attacks being life threatening. It is important that emergency care is sought immediately following the onset of an asthma attack.
Family history of asthma
Exposure to tobacco smoke in the womb or as a child
Being born prematurely
Having bronchiolitis as a child
Tightness in the chest
Shortness of breath
Medication (preventers, inhalers, spacers)
Asthma management plan created for you by your GP
With proper care asthma can be managed. If you have any of the above symptoms, contact your
Video: Understanding Asthma
Video: Living with and Managing Asthma
Video: NHS – Asthma
Healthination – What is Asthma?
RESOURCES & SUPPORT
The Asthma Foundation Health Navigator NZ – Asthma Children: Space to Breathe Programme
Asthma.org.uk – Factfiles Asthma.org.uk
NZ Guidelines Groups The New Zealand Medical Journal National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
DISCLAIMERThe information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest. We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.
You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your
general practitioner first.
Updated April 2012
Image source: Wikipedia – Bronchi