Staying Healthly at Work Staying Healthly at Work
What You Can Do
  • Hold an Asthma Awareness session - information and
    guidance on asthmas and what to do if you discover someone having an asthma attack - order free materials here.

  • Ask Occupational Health to provide an expert to answer any queries employees may have around asthma and its symptoms.

  • Take part in Asthma UK's Big Sing Song - download the pack here!

World Asthma Day & Asthma Awareness Week

1st May, and 30 April - 6th May 2012

5.3 million people in the UK are affected by asthma.

What is asthma?

When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways (an asthma trigger), the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell.
All these reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated - making it difficult to breath and leading to symptoms of asthma.

The common symptoms of asthmas are:
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or a whistling noise in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in chest
How is asthma treated?

There are some excellent treatments available to help you to control your asthma. The most effective way of taking most asthma treatments is to inhale the medicine so it gets straight into your lungs. There are many different inhalers available and it is important that you use an inhaler that you are comfortable with and can use properly. Your doctor or asthma nurse will advise you on the most appropriate inhaler for you and should show you how to use it correctly.

There are two main types of asthma medicine which are equally important but do different things. They are called relievers and preventers.

Reliever inhalers are usually blue and you take them when you have symptoms (like wheeze or cough). They work quickly by relaxing the muscles surrounding the narrowed airways making it easier to breathe. Reliever inhalers are essential in treating asthma attacks. If you need to use your reliever inhaler 3–4 times a week, you should go back to your doctor or nurse and have your asthma reviewed so that you can keep it under control. If you continue to need a lot of reliever medicine over a long time there is a risk that it will become less effective in you and your asthma may worsen.

Preventer inhalers usually come in brown, red or orange. They work by controlling the swelling and inflammation in the airways, stopping them from being so sensitive and reducing the risk of severe attacks. The effect of preventer inhalers builds up over a period of time and they need to be taken every day, usually morning and evening, even when you are feeling well. Preventers contain a steroid medicine. It is important to understand that the steroids contained in preventer medicines are not the same as anabolic steroids used by athletes to improve their performance.

Investors in People | East of England Business in the Community
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Accessibility Statement | Contact Us
© Copyright Staying Healthy at Work London and Surrey 2010 - 2017

Staying healthy at Work is now closed. This is an archive copy.