Managing asthma

Resources to help people living with asthma.
A man taking a deep breath, a calm sky is behind him.
What is asthma?

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. Although there’s currently no cure, there are a variety of treatments that can help to keep symptoms under control[1].

two young grls playing together.
How do I know if I have asthma?

People of all ages can develop asthma, although it often starts in childhood. Most people will find out they have asthma after experiencing symptoms and visiting their GP.

A blue asthma inhaler.
Asthma attacks

You can check your risk of having an asthma attack online with Asthma UK’s asthma attack risk checker.

If your asthma affects your daily life, wakes you up from sleep or you have to use your inhaler three or more times a week, visit your GP as soon as possible[2].

A mand and woman stand in the namaste yoga pose.
How to treat asthma

Some common treatments for asthma include using inhalers or taking tablets[3].

There are videos available on Asthma UK’s website to show you how to use inhalers properly.

In some cases of severe asthma where other treatment options haven’t helped to relieve symptoms, injections or surgery might be recommended[3].

Find out more about treatments for asthma on the NHS website.

Asthma and COVID-19

People with asthma at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus either:

  • have severe asthma

  • need regular or continuous oral steroids

  • have a history of overnight stays in hospital due to asthma attacks[4].

If you have any type of asthma, there is a slightly higher risk of needing to go to hospital if you do get coronavirus[4].

Your own level of risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus is affected by a range of factors. While having asthma may be one, there are other factors including your age and weight that can increase your risk level[4].

Find out more about coronavirus, including symptoms and advice for people who are at higher risk, on the NHS website.

Where can I get further support and information?
As well as talking to your pharmacist or GP, there are a number of charities and organisations offering support and information.
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Published

October 2021

Next review

October 2022

Reviewed by

Gill Stone MRPharmS

References

  1. 1.

    Asthma. nhs.uk. Published October 20, 2017. Accessed March 15, 2021.

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/
  2. 2.

    Asthma Attack Risk Checker. Asthma UK. Accessed March 15, 2021.

    https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/manage-your-asthma/risk/checker/
  3. 3.

    Asthma - treatment. nhs.uk. Published October 20, 2017. Accessed March 17, 2021.

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/treatment/
  4. 4.

    What should people with asthma do now? Asthma UK. Accessed March 16, 2021.

    https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/what-should-people-with-asthma-do-now/#YourRisk