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Asthma and Respiratory Allergy

This page contains information about asthma and other respiratory conditions. You can also find information about domestic pet avoidance, house dust mite allergy, mould allergy and sulphites and airway symptoms. All factsheets are downloadable at the bottom of this page.

Asthma is a common and long term lung condition that requires ongoing management. Asthma causes sensitivity to the airways, which can become inflamed and narrow on exposure to certain triggers, leading to difficulty in breathing.

Asthma commonly starts in childhood but it is possible to develop asthma at any age.  This condition cannot be cured, but with a good Asthma action plan it can be well controlled.

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma symptoms are individual to each person and can come and go, it is possible to have one or more of the symptoms below:

  • Shortness of breath / Breathing
  • Cough (day or night)
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so if you suspect you may have asthma you should see your GP.

What happens in an asthma attack?

In an asthma attack the muscles around your airways can become swollen and inflamed with increased mucus production resulting in one or more of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, difficulty speaking, experiencing a wheeze, blue colour to the lips and feeling distressed.

Managing an Asthma Attack

  1. Immediately take 1 puff of your asthma inhaler, repeating 1 puff, if required, every 30-60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs
  2. Try to remain calm and sit upright (this allows you to breathe easier)
  3. If you feel worse, or do not feel any better after 10 puffs call an ambulance (this ensures medical help is on its way)
  4. If the ambulance takes longer than 15 minutes to arrive then repeat step 1

Management 

For advice and information on how to manage your asthma, please download one of our useful factsheets below…

Download more detailed information

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