We know that summer is a busy time for most, so to simplify things for you, we have listed a few tips for keeping in control of your asthma (or your children’s asthma) throughout these warmer months:
Be organised! Check your medications/inhalers and spacers
Do you need a new prescription for your inhalers or other medications to see you through summer? Make sure you check how many inhalers you have, check the expiry dates, and check that they still have enough medication in them. Tip: Some inhalers will have a dose counter, but for those that don’t - remove the canister from your inhaler and shake it to listen out and make sure you still have plenty of medication itself in the canister.
Keep everything together and easily accessible
Keep your inhalers, spacer, mask (if you use one), and asthma action plan in a safe place where you’ll always be able to find it at short notice. Make sure your friends and family know where this is too! Our Asthma Waikato bags are ideal for this, but if you don’t have one, you can use a shopping bag or a toilet bag etc.
Set reminders for yourself or your children
Summer can be a really busy season! Playing on the beach, swimming, cooking the BBQ… all of these things can be distracting enough that you forget to take your inhalers as per usual, especially if you’re staying away from home and your normal daily routine. Set a reminder on your phone to take your regular medications or write yourself a daily note and leave it somewhere you’re sure to see it.
Take note of triggers and avoid as able
Knowledge is power! If you know what triggers your asthma, you are more likely to identify at-risk situations and avoid becoming unwell. Some common triggers in the summer months are; cold air in the evenings, smoke from BBQ’s or wood fires, animal allergens, increased physical activity etc.
Know your nearest medical facility
If you’re going on holiday to an unfamiliar area, make a point of researching the closest medical/healthcare facility. This is handy to know for many reasons; if you or a friend or family member becomes unwell or is injured, in a non-emergency, you’ll be able to save time and worry by knowing where you need to go to seek help.
We hope these tips are helpful for you to manage your asthma effectively this summer.
By Elyse Jones Respiratory Nurse Educator.