Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: Asthma
Healthy Children & Teens - Asthma
  Healthy Children & Teens

Asthma is a disease that affects people's breathing. People with asthma have twitchy or sensitive airways in their lungs. When exposed to certain trigger factors, the airways become narrow because of swelling and tightness of the muscles around them. This makes it is harder for the person to breathe and can cause cough, wheeze and tightness in the chest.

People often think of asthma as being just a children's disease. Although it is common in children, anyone can get asthma. Around 2 million Australians have asthma, and this number is growing. But the good news is that it can be controlled. The number of people who die from asthma is falling. Most people with asthma can live a healthy and active life if they follow some simple steps. 

Signs & Symptoms:

Symptoms include having a night-time cough that doesn't go away, or a cough that doesn't go away after having a cold. Other symptoms include coughing, wheezing,feeling breathless, and tightness in the chest

What can trigger symptoms?

  • colds & flu 
  • animals 
  • exercise 
  • dust 
  • pollens 
  • cigarett smoke 
  • cold air temperature 
  • chemicals, irritants and strong smells 
  • some foods or food preservatives 
  • certain medications 
  • emotion, stress 
  • gastrointestinal reflux


There are four main types of medication that you can take:

  1. Preventers are taken regularly to help avoid asthma attacks. These need to be used every day, even when there are no symptoms 
  2. Relievers are taken when you have the symptoms of asthma. It's also a good idea to pay attention to what might trigger an attack 
  3. Symptom controllers that are used for people who still get asthma symptoms even when they user their preventer medication
  4. Combinations of the preventer and symptom controller in the same inhaler.

Administering Asthma Medication

  • Inhalers include aerosol inhalers (puffers), autohalers, turbuhalers, accuhalers and aerolizers. Inhalers allow the medicine to get directly into the lungs
  • Spacers are a plastic chamber that fits onto an aerosol inhaler to help get the best amount of medicine into the lungs
  • Nebulisers are a pump that turns liquid asthma medicine into a fine mist, which is inhaled through a facemask or mouthpiece 


  • Fully assess your asthma 
  • Produce a written asthma action plan 
  • Follow the asthma action plan 
  • Review how well the medications are working

Self Care

  • Do not ignore symptoms of asthma 
  • Identify and try to avoid triggers 
  • Keep using a preventer, even when you feel well 
  • Always carry a reliever with you 
  • Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet 
  • Follow your asthma action plan 
  • Monitor your breathing regularly

What to do in an emergency - Asthma First Aid

Step 1. Sit the person upright and give reassurance.  Do not leave them alone. 

Step 2. Without delay give 4 separate puffs of a blue reliever (Airomir, Asmol, Epaq or Ventolin)*.

The medication is best given one puff at a time via a spacer device**.
Ask the person to take 4 breaths from the spacer after each puff of medication.

Step 3. Wait 4 minutes.

If there is little or no improvement repeat steps 2 and 3.

Step 4. If there is still no improvement call an ambulance immediately (DIAL 000).

Continuously repeat steps 2 and 3 while waiting for the ambulance.

*A Bricanyl Turbuhaler may be used in first aid treatment if a puffer and spacer are unavailable.
** If a spacer is not available, simply use the puffer on it's own.


More Information:

National Asthma Council -
Asthma Foundation - Victoria -
Asthma Foundation - NSW -
Asthma Foundation - Queensland -
Asthma Foundation - WA -
Asthma Foundation - SA -
Asthma Australia -
Australian Centre Asthma Monitoring -

Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • Preventative Medication
  • Relievers
  • Symptom Controllers
  • How to Administer Medication
  • Asthma Medication Plans

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