Asthma – Scenarios
Asthma – Scenarios
Asthma and cold weather
Many people may have asthma symptoms during cold weather. The charity, asthma UK sets out 3 key pieces of advice to help reduce the symptoms of asthma occurring. These are;
- Always keep taking the daily preventer inhaler and keep the reliever inhaler within reach
- If the reliever inhaler is being used regularly for example three times a week or more then contact should be made with the GP or specialist asthma nurse.
- Dress warm. Depending on the weather conditions wear gloves, scarves a hat and have an umbrella handy
- Place a scarf loosely over the nose and mouth. This may act as a means of warming up the air before it’s inhaled
- Consciously breathe air through the nose rather than the mouth because this better warms the air before it reaches the lungs.
Asthma and travelling.
A person’s asthma should not prevent them from travel. However sensible measures should be taken such as taking sufficient amounts of medicine for the trip and planning properly. It would be worth reviewing the personal action plan with the GP or specialist asthma nurse before travel especially since they can also provide advice about travelling and keeping the persons asthma in check.
Asthma and pregnancy
Asthma does not effect a person’s ability to have children and the overwhelming majority of women who have asthma go on to have a normal pregnancy.
Most asthma medicines are fine to be taking during pregnancy and also during breastfeeding. The doctor or specialist asthma nurse will confirm this during a regular check up.
If the person is planning to become pregnant or is pregnant, then the GP or specialist asthma nurse will consider three key things;
- Increase a review of the treatments because although some women find that their asthma improves during pregnancy there is a possibility that some symptoms may worsen
- Asthma management is not properly managed or is poorly controlled then this can lead to an elevated risk of complications. For example pre-eclampsia and premature birth.
- The gynaecologist and midwife should be aware about the persons asthma condition. Therefore they should plan for additional precautions during labour to minimise the risk of an asthma attack. Please understand that asthma attacks are rare during labour
School children and asthma
If asthma is well managed then this should not affect school activities.
The school should be notified about the child’s asthma condition in writing and also which medicines a child has been prescribed alongside the dosing. The school should be given a spar reliever inhaler to cover the event of asthma symptoms or an attack occurring on school premises.
All schools have a responsibility for the well-being of children under their care. Therefore staff at the school should be trained in being able to recognise asthma symptoms and the development of n asthma attack especially those supervising physical education or sports activities. Parents of asthmatic children are entitled to review the school’s asthma policy
Sharing asthma experiences
Long term health conditions such as asthma can cause stress, anxiety and depression. With the saying of a problem shared is a problem halved, some people may find it useful to share their asthma experiences with others in a similar situation.
Your GP will be able to point the person to patient organisations and local groups where they can meet others in a similar situation.
It is vital that a person seeks help if they are struggling to cope. The GP should be alerted about this and they will provide advice and support. There are also other organisations such as the British lung foundation, breathe easy support groups. Please refer to the link below, and the health unlocked asthma community.
Asthma an financial issues
Unless an adult is exempt from prescription charges then they will have to pay for their prescribes asthma medicines. Given that asthma is a long term condition, if a person is having to purchase lot of medicines each month, it will be cheaper to apply for prescription pre payment certificate
This certificate involves making single, one off payment that will not require payment for any prescriptions for a period of either three months or twelve months
The charity UK asthma provides useful information on the price of asthma medicines
Asthma and government benefits. If a persons asthma condition affects their ability to work then there are government benefits such as-
- Employment and support allowance. This benefit is payable if a person can’t work because of poor health because a person is disabled
- Personal independence payments. This is payable to people aged between 16 and 64 that contributes to the additional cost of suffering from a long term disease to disability
- Attendance allowance this is for people over the age of 65 who have a physical or mental disability and require someone to help take care of them
- People on low incomes are also entitled to support for healthcare costs, the government have an NHS low income scheme (LIS), which covers costs such as prescriptions charges
Work related asthma
If person develops occupational asthma and there is documented evidence to support this then they’re entitled to file a claim for industrial injuries disablement benefit. Eligible people receive a weekly payment. The health and safety executive provide a list of known asthma causing substances. Therefore if a person believes that the asthma has been caused by any of these substances then it can form the basis of a claim for the benefit.
The person may also want to consider legal action against their employer. If this is the case then they should find a lawyer to represent them within three years of being diagnosed with occupational asthma