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Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which can be controlled but not cured.

In clinical practice, asthma is defined by the presence of both of the following:

  • Excessive variation in lung function ('variable airflow limitation', i.e. variations in expiratory airflow that is greater than that seen in healthy people)
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. wheeze, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness) that vary over time and may be present or absent at any point in time.

There is not a singular test that can diagnose asthma, our GP's work with our patients to determine:

  • Previous history of a recurrent or persistent wheeze
  • Family history of asthma or allergies
  • Absence of physical findings that suggest an alternative diagnosis
  • Testing of variable airflow limitations
  • A consistent clinical response to an inhaled bronchodilator or preventer.

Management

For adults post asthma diagnosis, the next step is to work with their GP to develop a management plan. This will include choosing a treatment that is appropriate to a patients asthma symptoms, lifestyle, risk factors and the treatment preferences. The GP will provide all the required information on their asthma condition as well as providing all of the tools for self-management, including the correct inhaler techniques. At certain times a patient may experience a flare up of their asthma, om this instance the patient is advised to contact their GP who will review the patient's management plan to ensure the prescribed treatment is aligned to the asthma symptoms. For more information on asthma management plans for adults please contact your nearest Healthscope Medical Centre.
Our GP's work with our patients and their families to develop long term treatment plans post diagnosis. Dependent on the severity and pattern of the asthma, management plans are designed to ensure the child is able to maintain a normal quality of life. For children already taking regular preventative treatment, adjustments to the treatment regimen are based on finding the lowest dose of medicines that will maintain good control of symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Your GP is always on hand to provide guidance and clinical care for any asthma management concerns. For more information on asthma management plans for children please contact your nearest Healthscope Medical Centre.

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