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What is Asthma?
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What is Asthma?

Asthma is a common, long term medical condition that affects the airways (the breathing tubes that carry air into the lungs). People with Asthma sometimes find it harder to breathe in and out, because their airways become narrower or constricted. They also may produce more mucus. This leads to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing out), shortness of breath and a sense of chest tightness. Asthma may also be worse at night, leading to difficulty sleeping.


There is no cure for Asthma, but it can usually be well controlled with the right treatment and an action plan. Most people with Asthma can stay active and lead a normal, healthy life, once their Asthma is properly managed. 


Triggers of Asthma include dust, viral illnesses, pollen, exercise, cold air, animal dander and fumes or chemicals in certain workplaces.


For good control of Asthma, you need:


  • medicines (inhalers or "puffers") – taken in the right way, at the right time
  • regular check-ups with your doctor, particularly if you have worsening symptoms
  • to learn more about managing asthma correctly
  • an Asthma action plan, so you know exactly what to do when symptoms flare up.

Severe Asthma

Severe Asthma attacks can be dangerous, and even life-threatening, and if they occur, immediate medical attention is required. That is why it is important to know what to do in advance, by having an Asthma action plan. Signs of an Asthma emergency include:


  • Rapid worsening of shortness of breath and wheezing
  • No improvement in symptoms, even after using your "reliever" inhaler (for most people this is a "blue puffer", also known as Ventolin or Salbutamol.
  • Shortness of breath on minimal physical exertion


The doctors at Qoctor can provide prescriptions for most commonly used asthma inhalers. Following a video consultation, you can have a prescription sent to your local pharmacy, or you can have the medication delivered. Start HERE to request a prescription.


Further information about Asthma is available at:

The Royal Children's Hospital

National Asthma Council



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