Asthma is the most common chronic (long-term) condition in Ireland, with one in every ten people suffering. Asthma affects the airways, the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When people suffering with asthma are exposed to triggers such as pollen or dust, the airways react by becoming narrow and swollen, making breathing more difficult.

Asthma can start to develop at any age, however it usually begins during childhood. Asthma may also run in families and may be linked to other conditions such as hay fever and eczema.

Symptoms of Asthma

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Regular wheezing
  • Coughing

Asthma Triggers

For most asthma sufferers, there are certain things that trigger symptoms and make their asthma worse. Some common triggers include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Temperature changes
  • Exercise
  • Food / Pet allergies
  • Airway infections

What can I do if I’m having an asthma attack?

You should follow Asthma Ireland’s 5 step rule for managing Asthma Attacks in adults and children over 6 years:

Step 1: Sit up and try to remain calm – do not lie down

Step 2: Take slow, steady breaths

Step 3: Take 1 puff of reliever inhaler (usually blue) every minute. Check with your pharmacist if you are unsure which of your inhalers is a ‘reliever’ inhaler. Use a spacer if available.

Step 4: If symptoms do not improve after ten minutes or if you are worried call an ambulance on 999 or 112

Step 5: Repeat step 3 if ambulance has not arrived within 10 minutes

To find out more about our Asthma Care Service, visit your local Life Pharmacy.