What is Asthma?
Asthma is the most common chronic condition in Ireland. It affects the airways making them over sensitive to things such as cold air, dust, pollen etc. and causes the airways to tighten making breathing more difficult. Asthma may run in families, and is linked to allergies and skin conditions such as hay fever and eczema. Luckily there are excellent treatments available to help control the condition.
Most common of these are inhalers; relievers (usually blue) and preventers (usually brown, red or orange). It’s very important to take your inhalers the way they have been prescribed and that you know how to use them properly. At Hickey’s our trained staff can check your Inhaler Technique.
Living with Asthma
Keeping your asthma under good ‘control’ means that you can have a good quality of life and enjoy social and sporting activities like persons without asthma. Educating yourself about asthma and taking your medicines effectively is the best way to do this. When you have control of your asthma it means:
- No day or night-time symptoms
- Not requiring your reliever inhaler more than twice a week
- Not missing school or work because of your asthma
- Having good lung function.
Achieving and maintaining this control can be done using an Asthma Management Plan from your GP or asthma nurse and ensuring that you have regular structured reviews. If you are worried about keeping control of your asthma symptoms, you should visit your GP.
We advise all smokers who have asthma to quit. At Hickeys we can offer smoking cessation advice and products such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
What are the signs of an asthma attack?
You are having an asthma attack if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Your symptoms are worsening (wheeze, tight chest, breathlessness, cough)
- You are too breathless to talk, eat or sleep
- Fast breathing but you cannot get your breath in
- You feel worse even after using your inhaler, or your inhaler is not lasting over 4 hours
How to control an asthma attack
Take 2 puffs of reliever inhaler immediately
Sit upright and stay calm
Take slow steady breaths. If there is still no immediate improvement…..
Take one puff of the reliever every minute (Up to 10 puffs in 10 minutes for adults and Up to 6 puffs in 10 minutes for children) If there is still no response ….
Call 999 or 112 (repeat step 4 if the ambulance has not arrived within 10 minutes)
In addition to prescription services, our pharmacist team offer a range of healthcare services.
Have your blood pressure checked in one of our pharmacies.
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The morning after pill is available without prescription.
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