It still feels like summer, but autumn is definitely on the way. Keep yourself and those around you protected as the days get shorter with these seasonal tips.
Flu can be anywhere, and people with respiratory conditions are more at risk than most. Autumn is the best time to get your annual flu shot, to make sure you’re protected before flu season strikes. If you have asthma and are on a regular preventative therapy, or have another chronic respiratory condition, you are eligible for a free flu shot from a doctor or nurse.
Remember, influenza is not the same as a cold; it’s a serious viral infection that can make pre-existing conditions like asthma, bronchiectasis, or COPD, even worse. Immunisation is the best protection against the flu, and is especially important for people 65 years and over, pregnant women and young children. Even if you still catch the flu after immunisation, your symptoms are likely to be less severe.
In New Zealand, approximately 70 to 80 percent of asthma is associated with allergies, with mould being one of the leading triggers. Many homes in New Zealand are both cold and damp, which creates the perfect environment for asthma and allergy triggers like mould. To help reduce this impact during the colder winter months, it is essential to create a warm, dry and pollution free environment.
There are over 700,000 people living with respiratory conditions in New Zealand, many of whom don’t even realise that how they feel isn’t healthy. Air pollutants like car exhaust, smoke, and other irritants are known to cause major health issues, but many simply go on with their day-to-day lives unaware.
Air pollution in the environment can cause and aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. Find resources and information on the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation website about how to better manage your condition.
As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Having an action plan prepared is a great way to manage your asthma and provides a source of information when you need it most.
You can download action plans from our website or use the digital plan on the My Asthma App. Show the plan to your doctor or nurse during your next visit, and they will be able to sit with you and fill out all the medication details.
Having an action plan in place means that you can take control of your asthma and not let it control you. You will also feel more confident in managing triggers that may arise as the weather cools down and we enter a new season.