Today is World Asthma Day

Today is World Asthma Day
Today is World Asthma Day

What is asthma?

Asthma is a lung condition characterized by hypersensitivity of the airways to certain factors. Exposure to these causes inflammation: the mucous membrane that covers the inside of the airways swells and the bronchial muscles contract. It is more difficult for air to reach the lungs and breathing becomes more difficult. If asthma is mild, the symptoms experienced may be minimal. But if it is more severe, it can limit daily activities. It also happens that some asthmatics react strongly to one triggering factor and not at all to another… In short, the severity of the disease varies from one person to another!

Fortunately, treatment exists and allows you to live well with the disease. Used correctly, it helps reduce symptoms and avoid severe attacks.

A family affection

Does a member of your family suffer from asthma? He may not be the only one! This disease is partly linked to heredity. It is therefore not surprising to find several people with asthma in the same family.

How to prevent an asthma attack?

Often, but not always, asthma is caused by an allergy. In this case, our immune defenses react to harmless substances in our environment. But other, non-allergic factors can also be involved. Generally speaking, if you know the cause of your asthma, avoid it as much as possible!​

Tips for allergic causes

Mites

  • Ventilate your home and bed every day and eliminate dust.
  • Choose synthetic bedding and smooth, easy-to-clean flooring.

Grass and tree pollens

  • Keep doors and windows (especially bedrooms) closed on hot, windy days.
  • Do not mow your lawn yourself. But be careful, it must be mowed regularly to prevent it from flowering.
  • Wash or rinse your hair before going to bed to remove pollen.
  • Choose the morning for outdoor activities, or after a downpour.
  • Do not dry your laundry outside, it will be impregnated with pollen.
  • Wear your sunglasses when you are outside.​​

Pets

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean the rooms in which the animal often stays. Prohibit the animal’s access to bedrooms.

Mold

  • Fight against humidity in the home. Ventilate sufficiently.
  • Watch your houseplants: mold can grow in damp soil.

Tips for non-allergic causes

Physical effort

  • Limit your outdoor activities and avoid intensive sports during periods of peak ozone and air pollution.
  • Avoid outdoor exercise in cold, dry weather.

Brust and irritants: cigarette smoke, perfumes, cleaning products, paint fumes

  • If you smoke, stop. Avoid smoking in your home.
  • Stay away from irritating products.

Respiratory tract infection

What treatment?

Asthma is very treatable! Treatments can reduce symptoms or even make them disappear permanently. This way we control the disease, even if we cannot cure it.

Two types of medications are used. Corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation, and bronchodilators, which dilate the airways. Most of the time, they are administered via an inhaler, also called a puff. Corticosteroids are used daily for basic treatment, while bronchodilators are reserved for attacks and should therefore only be used occasionally. Indeed, a well-used basic treatment can control asthma. And if the asthma is controlled, you should (almost) no longer need your emergency treatment.

The Proper Use of Medicines

Many asthma patients misuse their medications, often without even realizing it. You obviously have to learn to inhale correctly. Because good inhalation technique is essential to guarantee effective treatment and control your asthma. Your pharmacist can also offer you support for Good Use of Medicines (BUM) when your treatment is delivered.

A support? You may be skeptical; you don’t have the time or the money… Don’t be afraid, it’s free and fast! In about fifteen minutes, your pharmacist will inform you about asthma, explain your treatment and show you how to use your inhaler. A few weeks later, you can arrange a follow-up interview together. An opportunity to review the difficulties you are having with your medications and to assess whether your asthma is well controlled.​

Living well with asthma, your pharmacist can help you!

Sophie Etienne, pharmacist in Schaerbeek, has already experienced several cases of misuse of the treatment. Including one patient: “With his puff, instead of inhaling, he blew into it. It happens! We immediately understand why his asthma is not controlled. He doesn’t actually take his treatment“. In this type of case, the solution is simple: re-explain everything. With clear information and the right actions, the patient has the cards in hand to regain control over his illness.

Stéphanie Valentin, pharmacist in Saint-Géry (Chastre) always finds a quiet moment to support her asthmatic patients. “We make an appointment for the patient, either when there are two of us in the pharmacy, or during lunchtime, when it is quieter. So there we can sit down and do the full BUM.“She does everything to ensure that the patient understands his illness and uses his treatment correctly. “OHe spends time really explaining to patients how to use the devices. We explain it again even when they have already been using it for a long time. We also show the application My Puff and a video. When they are children or even young adults, we repeat the actions with them.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a lung condition characterized by hypersensitivity of the airways to certain factors. Exposure to these causes inflammation: the mucous membrane that covers the inside of the airways swells and the bronchial muscles contract. It is more difficult for air to reach the lungs and breathing becomes more difficult. If asthma is mild, the symptoms experienced may be minimal. But if it is more severe, it can limit daily activities. It also happens that some asthmatics react strongly to one triggering factor and not at all to another… In short, the severity of the disease varies from one person to another!

Fortunately, treatment exists and allows you to live well with the disease. Used correctly, it helps reduce symptoms and avoid severe attacks.

A family affection

Does a member of your family suffer from asthma? He may not be the only one! This disease is partly linked to heredity. It is therefore not surprising to find several people with asthma in the same family.

How to prevent an asthma attack?

Often, but not always, asthma is caused by an allergy. In this case, our immune defenses react to harmless substances in our environment. But other, non-allergic factors can also be involved. Generally speaking, if you know the cause of your asthma, avoid it as much as possible!​

Tips for allergic causes

Mites

  • Ventilate your home and bed every day and eliminate dust.
  • Choose synthetic bedding and smooth, easy-to-clean flooring.

Grass and tree pollens

  • Keep doors and windows (especially bedrooms) closed on hot, windy days.
  • Do not mow your lawn yourself. But be careful, it must be mowed regularly to prevent it from flowering.
  • Wash or rinse your hair before going to bed to remove pollen.
  • Choose the morning for outdoor activities, or after a downpour.
  • Do not dry your laundry outside, it will be impregnated with pollen.
  • Wear your sunglasses when you are outside.​​

Pets

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean the rooms in which the animal often stays. Prohibit the animal’s access to bedrooms.

Mold

  • Fight against humidity in the home. Ventilate sufficiently.
  • Watch your houseplants: mold can grow in damp soil.

Tips for non-allergic causes

Physical effort

  • Limit your outdoor activities and avoid intensive sports during periods of peak ozone and air pollution.
  • Avoid outdoor exercise in cold, dry weather.

Brust and irritants: cigarette smoke, perfumes, cleaning products, paint fumes

  • If you smoke, stop. Avoid smoking in your home.
  • Stay away from irritating products.

Respiratory tract infection

What treatment?

Asthma is very treatable! Treatments can reduce symptoms or even make them disappear permanently. This way we control the disease, even if we cannot cure it.

Two types of medications are used. Corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation, and bronchodilators, which dilate the airways. Most of the time, they are administered via an inhaler, also called a puff. Corticosteroids are used daily for basic treatment, while bronchodilators are reserved for attacks and should therefore only be used occasionally. Indeed, a well-used basic treatment can control asthma. And if the asthma is controlled, you should (almost) no longer need your emergency treatment.

The Proper Use of Medicines

Many asthma patients misuse their medications, often without even realizing it. You obviously have to learn to inhale correctly. Because good inhalation technique is essential to guarantee effective treatment and control your asthma. Your pharmacist can also offer you support for Good Use of Medicines (BUM) when your treatment is delivered.

A support? You may be skeptical; you don’t have the time or the money… Don’t be afraid, it’s free and fast! In about fifteen minutes, your pharmacist will inform you about asthma, explain your treatment and show you how to use your inhaler. A few weeks later, you can arrange a follow-up interview together. An opportunity to review the difficulties you are having with your medications and to assess whether your asthma is well controlled.​

Living well with asthma, your pharmacist can help you!

Sophie Etienne, pharmacist in Schaerbeek, has already experienced several cases of misuse of the treatment. Including one patient: “With his puff, instead of inhaling, he blew into it. It happens! We immediately understand why his asthma is not controlled. He doesn’t actually take his treatment“. In this type of case, the solution is simple: re-explain everything. With clear information and the right actions, the patient has the cards in hand to regain control over his illness.

Stéphanie Valentin, pharmacist in Saint-Géry (Chastre) always finds a quiet moment to support her asthmatic patients. “We make an appointment for the patient, either when there are two of us in the pharmacy, or during lunchtime, when it is quieter. So there we can sit down and do the full BUM.“She does everything to ensure that the patient understands his illness and uses his treatment correctly. “OHe spends time really explaining to patients how to use the devices. We explain it again even when they have already been using it for a long time. We also show the application My Puff and a video. When they are children or even young adults, we repeat the actions with them.

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