We rely on our airways to carry air in and out of our lungs, but what happens if they don’t function properly? Asthma is a common cause – a chronic condition that affects 5.4 million people in the UK, making it difficult for air to reach the lungs and causing uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms.
Asthma is a common lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing. Asthma triggers (like exercise, cold air, allergens or infections) cause the airways to narrow, restricting the amount of air that can be carried in and out of the lungs. Each person has their own set of triggers - things that irritate their sensitive airways and provoke symptoms.
The exact cause of asthma is unknown. There is thought to be a genetic link in people that suffer with asthma. If a parent has asthma, there is an increased risk that the child will also develop asthma. Other factors such as pollution and modern hygiene standards are also thought to be linked. However, there is not currently enough evidence to determine if any of these are causes.
There are many signs and symptoms of asthma. Not everyone will experience all of the symptoms of asthma and some people might only experience symptoms in response to asthma triggers.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of asthma, you might have the condition. However, symptoms of asthma overlap with many other conditions so it can often be difficult to tell. We can help with:
How do I know if I have asthma? And what are the signs of an asthma attack?
Common symptoms of asthma include:
It can be difficult to tell if you have asthma because many conditions cause these symptoms. It is more likely to be asthma if you experience these symptoms often, they tend to be worse in the morning and at night and seem to happen in response to an asthma trigger like exercise or an allergy.
If you believe that you might have asthma, speak with your GP who will be able to diagnose the condition. It’s important to receive a proper diagnosis of asthma as the symptoms can be related to a number of different conditions. Each condition may need slightly different treatments.
In most cases, your GP will be able to make a diagnosis of asthma. However, in some cases, your GP might refer you to a specialist for a diagnosis if they are not sure. During your appointment, your GP or practice nurse might ask you questions about your symptoms, including:
In addition to these questions, your GP will usually carry out some tests for asthma.
Asthma is usually tested for using the following methods:
In addition to these tests, your GP might also suggest a blood or skin prick test to check if your asthma symptoms might be triggered by an allergy.
While tests for asthma are often the best way to determine if you have asthma or not, your GP might also suggest a trial of treatment to confirm or rule out asthma. This involves prescribing you with one or more asthma medicines to see if they help relieve your symptoms.
Your GP might ask you to do breathing tests before and after your treatment trial to see how well the treatment worked. Your GP might also want to test the effectiveness of your treatment by stopping the treatment to see if your symptoms return again.
At first, it can be scary to be diagnosed with asthma. The good news is that lots of asthma treatments are available to help you manage your symptoms and reduce the impact of asthma on your day-to-day life.
Asthma UK suggests that after being diagnosed with asthma, you should work with your GP or asthma nurse to complete an asthma action plan. This has all of the information you need to know about your asthma in one place, reminding you which medicines you need to take each day, how to detect if your asthma is getting worse, and what you should do if it is getting worse or in the event of an asthma attack. It has been shown that you are four times less likely to need to go to the hospital with asthma if you have one. You can download an asthma action plan from Asthma UK.
There are various terms used to describe different types of asthma, including ‘occupational’, ‘nocturnal’ and ‘seasonal’ asthma. The type of asthma you have depends on its causes and severity.
Sometimes these terms and categories can overlap with each other so you might experience more than one of the following types. We can help with:
What types of asthma are there? And what type of asthma do I have?
Around 12% of people with asthma have difficult to control asthma. This is defined as regularly having difficult asthma symptoms or finding it difficult to manage your asthma well. Having difficult to control asthma usually requires some extra support and treatment to help you effectively manage your asthma symptoms. Most of the time, with the right support, understanding and medicines, most people with difficult to control asthma can treat their symptoms.
Around 5% of people with asthma have severe asthma. It can often be difficult to distinguish severe asthma from difficult to control asthma. The difference between the two is that severe asthma has symptoms that do not respond to usual asthma medicines. Unlike difficult to control asthma, severe asthma is more complex and requires ongoing care and treatment.
There are also different types of severe asthma. Around half of the people diagnosed with severe asthma have what is known as eosinophilic asthma. This type of severe asthma usually affects adults and is related to allergies and allergic triggers. If you’re diagnosed with this specific asthma, a specialist may offer you treatment in addition to your inhaled corticosteroids that also focus on reducing the number of eosinophil cells in your lungs (this affects the allergic response from your body).
Here's what asthma campaigner and blogger, Stephen Gaudet, has to say about living with very severe asthma:
"While my asthma doesn't control me, it affects everything I do in one way or another. Essentially, my day revolves around how short of breath I am and/or how many medical appointments I need to attend. It's difficult to stay positive when you have a disease that makes it difficult to breathe, and I'll admit that there are times where I just feel like giving up, but I try my best to stay focused on the better days ahead. All asthmatics, no matter how severe, always have at least a few good days in between the bad ones, I plan around those days. I try to live my life as though I'm totally healthy and consider my asthma more of an inconvenience than a deadly and debilitating disease. When I find it difficult to do something because of my breathing, I find ways to adapt."
Occupational asthma is sometimes also referred to as work-related asthma. This is asthma that is directly caused by the work that you do and certain triggers or exposures you are subject to at work. Signs your asthma is occupational include:
High-risk occupations include laboratory work, baking, animal handling, welding, and paint spraying. If you think you may be experiencing occupational asthma, visit your GP at your earliest convenience to get a diagnosis, treatment and a plan for managing your asthma symptoms.
Aspirin-induced asthma is used to define asthma where taking aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) triggers an asthma attack. This includes medicines such as ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen) and naproxen. It is estimated that between 2-25% of adults with asthma have a sensitivity to aspirin. Aspirin-induced asthma is sometimes also referred to as aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD).
Aspirin-induced asthma is usually diagnosed in adulthood and can often present alongside nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis.
Exercise is a common trigger for people with underlying asthma. This is when the airways narrow during or after exercise. There are varying symptoms of exercise-induced asthma, with people showing some or all of the typical asthma symptoms. Most experts will see exercise-induced asthma as asthma which is uncontrolled and is triggered by exercise. Adjusting your treatments will usually mean that most people with asthma can exercise with no problems.
Asthma is often seen as a condition which is first diagnosed in childhood. However, it is also quite a common diagnosis as an adult. This type of asthma is often referred to as adult-onset asthma or late-onset asthma. It is more common for women to be diagnosed with asthma for the first time as an adult than men.
It’s difficult to say what exactly causes asthma to develop in adulthood but research suggests:
Symptoms of adult-onset asthma are less likely to be triggered by allergies. Instead, symptoms in adults are more likely to be triggered by:
The term childhood asthma is used to define asthma which was diagnosed in childhood. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and is more prevalent in boys than girls. Some children may find that their symptoms improve or disappear completely over time. However, even if symptoms do disappear, they can return again in adulthood. If your child has moderate or severe asthma, it is more likely for their symptoms to return later in life than if they have mild asthma. For more information, read our parents’ guide to asthma in children.
Some people only experience their asthma symptoms at certain times of the year. This is known as seasonal asthma. This type of asthma is often triggered by things that are only present at certain times of the year, such as pollen or cold weather. Despite asthma being a long-term condition, it is possible to be symptom-free at times when your asthma triggers are not present. If you believe you may have seasonal asthma, it’s important to speak with your GP or asthma nurse about how to manage your asthma all year round.
There are many different ways to treat asthma. The right asthma treatment for you will depend on the causes and the severity of your asthma.
The most common method of treating asthma is by using an inhaler. If inhalers aren’t helping to control your asthma, your GP will check that you are using them correctly. If you are, they might also prescribe you with tablets or refer you to an asthma specialist for injections and other treatments in rare cases. We can help with:
How can I get rid of asthma? And can asthma be cured?
There is currently no cure for asthma. However, there are many treatments available to help with managing your asthma symptoms.
Asthma inhalers are the main treatment for asthma.
If your inhaler alone isn’t helping your asthma symptoms, your GP might prescribe you with tablets. The main tablets your GP might consider prescribing are:
If you have severe asthma, your GP might write a referral letter for you to see an asthma specialist who may be able to prescribe injections for asthma.
The main injections for asthma treatment are:
Injections are not suitable for everyone with asthma. An asthma specialist will determine whether injections are right for you.
A procedure known as bronchial thermoplasty is sometimes offered to people with severe, resistant asthma. This is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will be sedated or put to sleep while the surgery is happening. The procedure involves using heat on the muscles around your airways to help stop them narrowing by passing a thin, flexible tube down your throat and into your lungs. This is a fairly new procedure but has been shown to be an effective treatment for people with severe asthma so far. Only a few specialist centres in the UK will provide this procedure.
Guidelines state that everyone with asthma should have an annual review with their GP or asthma nurse. This appointment gives you the chance to talk about how to manage your asthma symptoms better and make sure your treatment is right for you. Often, your GP surgery will invite you for your annual asthma review. If you haven’t received an invitation, you should book an appointment to see a GP or practice nurse yourself. Correct management of your asthma can help to relieve ongoing symptoms and helps to prevent asthma attacks and long term damage to your lungs, allowing you to live a normal life.
The flu can be very serious for people with asthma. It is recommended that everyone with asthma who is on a regular steroid inhaler or has been admitted to hospital for asthma gets vaccinated for the flu.
If you’re feeling down about a diagnosis of asthma, you might find it comforting to know that others have the same feelings after being first diagnosed. Some people find an asthma diagnosis difficult to come to terms with. While some feel worried about how asthma will affect their day-to-day lives, others feel relief that they know what is going on with their health and take a positive approach to work with their GP or specialist to find the best medicines for them. Over time, people tend to become more confident with their diagnosis and believe they are in a better position to get the treatment and support they need.
You might find it helpful to talk to someone about how you are feeling after being diagnosed with asthma. There are many places you can go to find support:
Asthma UK has a useful resource which helps with spotting any negative thoughts you might be having after an asthma diagnosis.
Asthma inhalers come in different shapes and sizes. Most people with asthma will be prescribed with two different inhalers: a preventer inhaler and a reliever inhaler.
In some cases, your GP might prescribe a combination inhaler which acts as both a reliever and a preventer inhaler. Some people find it easier to use their inhaler with a spacer if it is a spray type (aerosol). We can help with:
What are the types of asthma inhalers? And what are the asthma inhaler colours?
Reliever inhalers help to quickly treat asthma symptoms and give emergency relief in the event of an asthma attack. They do this by quickly getting the medicine straight to your lungs, relaxing the muscles around your airways to open them up and allowing you to breathe more easily. It should only take a few minutes for the effect of a reliever to kick in.
Anyone with asthma or children under 5 years of age with suspected asthma will be prescribed with a reliever inhaler to use when symptoms of asthma start to show.
Most people with asthma will also need to use a preventer inhaler in addition to their reliever inhaler. If your asthma is well controlled you should very rarely need to use your reliever medicine. Using it three times a week or more shows your asthma is not controlled and your other medicines may need to be adjusted.
Reliever inhalers are usually blue and look like this:
Most people with asthma will need a preventer inhaler in addition to their reliever inhaler. Preventer inhalers are to be used every day. They help prevent asthma symptoms by making your airways less sensitive. If you use your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed even when you feel well, and follow the correct inhaler technique, you will be less likely to react to your asthma triggers which means your asthma is likely to be controlled and you have little or no symptoms.
Very few people with asthma will not need a preventer inhaler. Your GP will prescribe you with a preventer inhaler if:
The protective effect of preventer inhalers builds up over time, so it is advised that you use your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed to give you better defence against your asthma triggers.
Long-acting reliever inhalers, called long-acting beta agonists (LABA), are prescribed to some people with asthma in addition to their steroid preventer inhaler. While long-acting reliever inhalers do help to relieve ongoing asthma symptoms, not all of them will help in the event of an emergency. They work by relaxing the muscles and opening up the airways over a longer period. Long-acting beta agonists should always be prescribed to you together with a steroid in the same inhaler, known as a combination inhaler.
Sometimes another type of bronchodilator, called a long acting muscarinic antagonist may be given to you in an inhaler. This is called Spiriva (Tiotropium) Respimat inhaler. It may help to relax the muscles in the airways and to reduce breathlessness.
A combination inhaler combines two medicines in one inhaler: a long-acting reliever to provide on-going relief from symptoms such as breathlessness and tightness of the chest, and a steroid preventer to help control and prevent inflammation in your airways in the long-term.
Despite there being reliever medicine in your combination inhaler, you will most likely also need a separate reliever inhaler. There are some cases where you will only need a combination inhaler. This is called the MART or SMART way.
Make sure to use your combination inhaler every day as prescribed, even if your asthma isn’t troubling you. This is because combination inhalers are designed to be preventative and help to relieve ongoing symptoms. If you feel you no longer need to take it every day you must discuss it with your GP or asthma nurse before stopping it. It is likely that your asthma symptoms will return if you just stop this inhaler.
Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (MART) is when you are prescribed with a combination inhaler to use as both your reliever and preventer inhaler. You will be told to use it twice a day but you can also use it if you become short of breath or have chest tightness.
Sometimes, MART regimes are also referred to as SMART regimes. These both work in the same way and are just different brands. The most common MART regimes in the UK are:
A MART regime might be prescribed to you by your GP or asthma nurse if you’re struggling with your asthma symptoms and you’ve already tried a regular combination inhaler.
Some people find inhalers tricky to use, while others don’t realise they are using their inhaler incorrectly.
There are two groups of inhalers; those that are aerosols, such as puffers or spray type and those that are called dry powder inhalers.
To get the best from your medication, many people find that spacers help if they are prescribed a puffer or spray type (aerosol) inhaler. This type of inhaler may be called a metered dose inhaler (MDI). We can help with:
How do I use a spacer? And what’s the best inhaler technique?
Spacers are large tubes that are made out of plastic. There are many different types available which fit on to different inhalers. Spacers can help you to get the best out of your asthma medicine.
Sometimes, using a spacer means that you don’t require as much medicine. This is because spacers slow down the speed of your medicine and help it to get down into your lungs, instead of the back of your throat. This also helps to reduce the side effects of using your inhaler.
Spacers are available on prescription and can also be purchased from your local pharmacy.
To get the most effective dose, ask your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist how to use your spacer with your inhaler. You should also have your technique checked again at your annual asthma review (or more often if possible). Sometimes a face mask is also used for children and babies who have trouble using a regular spacer with a mouthpiece.
Getting the right inhaler technique is essential for the medicine to work and to help avoid side effects of using your inhaler. If you are using your inhaler incorrectly, you might be putting yourself more at risk of side effects such as oral thrush or a sore throat. This is because the medicine might be hitting the back of your throat or staying on your tongue or in your mouth. The medicine needs to be able to go down into your airways and a good inhaler technique is essential for this to happen.
If you have an incorrect inhaler technique, you won’t be able to control your asthma and you’ll likely suffer from asthma symptoms despite taking your inhaler at the prescribed dose.
The best way to check your inhaler technique is to take your inhaler to your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist and ask them to check how you are using it. There are many different types of inhalers that work in different ways so if you’ve been prescribed an inhaler for the first time or you’re using a different type that you’re not used to, it’s best to get advice on how you’re using it. Pharmacists at your local pharmacy can support you in using your inhalers. Sometimes, the design of inhalers can change and your technique will need to be updated. Asthma UK has a number of how-to videos based on the type of inhaler you are using. It is recommended to rinse your mouth by gargling water after using an inhaler that contains a steroid. This helps along with a good inhaler technique to reduce the chance of you getting thrush.
Generally, there are ‘7 Steps to Success’ using an inhaler:
If you’re using your inhaler every day there is usually no need to clean it. However, if you need to clean your ‘press and breathe’ metered-dose inhaler (MDI), follow these simple steps:
To clean a dry powder inhaler, simply wipe the mouthpiece with a dry cloth at least once every week.
Do not use water to clean a dry powder inhaler as the powder is very sensitive to moisture.
Asthma attacks can be a very frightening experience. During a mild attack, you might have a feeling of breathlessness or chest tightness while walking but feel better once you sit down.
During a severe asthma attack, your symptoms might be uncontrollable and considerably more dangerous. This is a life-threatening emergency and can be fatal if emergency treatment is not available. We can help with:
What is an asthma attack? What is the best thing to do when having an asthma attack?
Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you are having an asthma attack:
This is not applicable to people who are on MART/SMART regimes. For more information, speak with your GP.
How serious an asthma attack depends on the intensity of the symptoms. You should seek emergency attention immediately if you are showing signs or symptoms of a severe asthma attack. This includes:
You should have been given an asthma action plan. This will remind you of what actions to take should you have an asthma attack. Take a photograph of this plan on your phone if you have one so that you can easily find it when you need it. If you don’t have your own asthma action plan speak to your GP or practice nurse and ask them to write one for you. You can download an asthma action plan from the Asthma UK website.
The best way to prevent an asthma attack is to make sure it is well-controlled in the first place. That means having a personal asthma plan and using your inhalers and medication as prescribed. While preventative medication does not guarantee that you will not encounter an asthma attack, it certainly helps to reduce your chances if your current treatment is keeping your asthma under control.
Asthma attacks can be very disruptive. They can disturb your sleep, school, work and exercise, reducing your quality of life and causing disruption to the lives of people around you.
Very severe asthma attacks can lead to respiratory arrest and death.
There are many ways to help to keep your asthma symptoms under control at home. Simple breathing exercises, herbal remedies and staying healthy can help you to manage your symptoms better.
However, lifestyle and home remedies for asthma are not a replacement for your asthma medicines. We can help with:
What are some home remedies for asthma? And how can I avoid asthma triggers?
There is some evidence to show that breathing exercises can improve asthma symptoms and reduce the amount of medication you need to keep your asthma under control. However, breathing exercises should not be used as a replacement for your medicine.
Taking steps to reduce exposure to asthma triggers can help to reduce your asthma symptoms and chances of an asthma attack. This includes:
Taking care of yourself can help to keep your asthma symptoms under control. This includes:
It is not yet known what the exact cause of asthma is and your likelihood of having asthma can depend on a number of different factors.
There are a number of common asthma triggers including dust, pollution and exercise that can flare up asthma symptoms in some people. We can help with:
What causes asthma? And can asthma be cured?
It’s not yet known what the exact cause of asthma is. It has been suggested that genetics, pollution and modern hygiene standards are potential causes for the condition. However, there is not currently enough evidence to conclude that any of these cause asthma.
What causes asthma is different from what triggers asthma. Causes are the underlying reason why a person has asthma, whereas triggers can flare up asthma symptoms.
There are a number of different factors that can increase your likelihood of having asthma, including:
Asthma cannot always be prevented. Some causes, such as asthma running in the family or being born early are outside of our control. However, there are some factors such as smoking that can be prevented to reduce your chances of getting asthma. There is some evidence to show that rural living, less frequent use of antibiotics, and early contact with other children can also reduce the chance of getting asthma. It is also possible to keep your asthma well-managed and not have any symptoms for periods of time. Taking your medicine correctly and avoiding asthma triggers are some things you can do to avoid asthma symptoms.
Asthma triggers can cause your asthma symptoms to flare up and can result in an asthma attack if your asthma is not kept under control. Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Common asthma triggers include:
At first, it can be very worrying for parents to hear their child has been diagnosed with asthma. It’s important to remember that there are many treatments available to help children deal with their asthma.
We have some useful advice and support to help your child manage their asthma symptoms. We can help with:
How can I manage my child’s asthma? And what should I do if my child has an asthma attack?
If you suspect your child might have asthma or they are showing symptoms of asthma, it’s important to take them to see a GP for a proper diagnosis. Signs of asthma in children include:
To prepare for your appointment with your GP, it’s helpful to make notes on your child’s symptoms, particularly what and when they have the symptoms. It’s often quicker and easier to show your GP what they are experiencing. Recording your child’s coughing or wheeze sounds can help your doctor understand their condition, especially if your child is not experiencing symptoms during the appointment.
Your GP might ask you the following questions. It’s a good idea to have answers to these questions ready before your appointment.
Call 999 if your child is struggling to breathe. Look out for their tummy sucking in, ribs standing out, sucking in at the front of their throat or not being able to finish their sentences.
Once your child is diagnosed with asthma, your GP will likely prescribe them with inhalers or other medications and treatments to help keep their asthma symptoms under control. Whatever treatment your GP prescribes for your child, you should help them to take the correct dose, in the correct way and at the correct time(s). This is important because asthma medications often won’t work properly unless they are taken correctly.
Often, your child will require a spacer to use with their inhaler to help get the correct amount of medicine to their lungs and reduce side effects. Learn more about spacers.
One of the best ways to manage your child’s asthma is to make sure they’re using an asthma action plan. You can download an asthma action plan for children from Asthma UK to complete with your GP or asthma nurse. You should also take this plan to all of your child’s asthma appointments to make sure all of the information is up-to-date.
You should make sure to take your child for an asthma review every year, in accordance with the guidelines. This appointment is a great way to make sure your child is using their medications correctly and to review their current prescriptions.
Put up copies of your child’s asthma action plan on the fridge, take a photo of it and send it to friends and family and share a copy with your child’s school and any clubs they attend. This helps make everyone aware of your child’s asthma and what to do if they have an asthma attack.
An asthma attack doesn’t always result in your child going to the hospital. Sometimes, your child might have an asthma attack and their blue reliever inhaler helps to relieve their symptoms and prevent a visit to the hospital. It’s important to be aware of when your child has an asthma attack by looking out for the following signs:
It can be very shocking and frightening for parents to see their child having an asthma attack, especially if they end up in an ambulance or in hospital. Some parents feel guilty afterwards and wonder what they could have done differently to prevent it from happening. It’s not surprising that parents tend to panic when their child is having an asthma attack, however, it is important to stay calm and follow these steps:
Having asthma doesn’t mean that your child can no longer exercise and take part in activities. Exercise is good for your child’s asthma and you should encourage your child to be as active as possible. If your child gets wheezy, breathless or has chest tightness when they exercise it’s most likely a sign their asthma is not as well controlled as it could be. Make an appointment to see your child’s GP or practice nurse.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your child’s weight. Being overweight can make asthma symptoms worse so it is important for your child to have a healthy and balanced diet. If you are worried that your child is overweight, speak to your GP who will be able to offer advice on how they can lose weight in a sensible way and can make referrals to a dietician for specialist advice if necessary.
Help reduce exposure of your child’s asthma triggers. This might include making sure your home is regularly cleaned to reduce dust, using air conditioning to filter out airborne pollen indoors and reducing pet dander by having pets regularly groomed.
Often, asthma is not thought of as a condition that affects babies. However, 80% of children with asthma had symptoms that started before they were 5 years old.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if your baby’s symptoms are caused by asthma or a different condition because babies cannot communicate how they are feeling. We can help with:
How can you tell if your baby has asthma? And what treatments are available for babies?
It can be difficult to tell if your baby has asthma because they are unable to communicate their symptoms effectively. However, there are a few signs you can look out for, including:
Note: Asthma symptoms are similar to other conditions like chest infections. It’s important to take your baby to see a GP for a proper diagnosis. However, it can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose asthma in children under the age of 5. They may just treat your babies symptoms instead without a formal diagnosis.
Babies are usually prescribed medication in inhaled forms. Asthma medications that are given to older children are usually acceptable for babies in smaller doses. As babies cannot use inhalers correctly, their medications are usually administered via a spacer.
Sometimes babies don’t like having their mask put on, even though it only covers the mouth and nose. Try using toys to reassure and distract your baby while putting it on them.
If your baby is showing any symptoms of asthma, take them to see a GP who will be able to provide proper treatment.
Seek immediate medical attention if your baby is finding it difficult to breathe or changes colour in the face and lips. Severe asthma attacks can be a medical emergency.
It’s often difficult to diagnose a baby with asthma because they cannot communicate their symptoms and many symptoms of asthma can also be symptoms of other conditions such as a chest infection. Your GP will help your baby based on their symptoms, medical history, your family history and an examination.
Asthma attacks in babies can lead to long-term breathing difficulties. This is because an asthma attack which is not well controlled can lead to the airways thickening. In the short-term, you might find that your baby is more uncomfortable, tired and agitated.
In cases of a severe asthma attack that cannot be treated with fast-acting medication, you should seek immediate medical attention by calling 999. This could mean just a visit to A&E or a hospital stay may also be required.
Pregnancy can be a difficult and stressful time without having to also deal with asthma symptoms.
Some women may find that their asthma symptoms improve or stay the same, while others might find their asthma gets worse while they are pregnant. We can help with:
Can I still use my inhaler while pregnant? And can I use asthma medication while breastfeeding?
How pregnancy affects asthma varies from person to person. Some women find that during pregnancy, their asthma symptoms improve and they don’t have to use their reliever inhaler as much as they did before pregnancy. Others find that their asthma gets worse during pregnancy or stays the same as it was before they were pregnant.
As soon as you find out you are pregnant, you should speak to your GP or asthma nurse for advice on how to manage your asthma during pregnancy. You will have a midwife to offer you support during pregnancy but your GP or asthma nurse will continue to manage your asthma.
You should also visit your GP or asthma nurse if you are experiencing any of the following:
Call 999 if you experience symptoms of an asthma attack and you do not have your inhaler with you, if your inhaler does not seem to be working, or if you do not feel better after taking 10 puffs on your inhaler.
Most asthma medication is suitable to use during pregnancy. You should not stop using your asthma medication during pregnancy unless advised by your GP or asthma nurse. There is a chance of your asthma symptoms becoming worse if you stop taking your medicine which can post a risk to your health and your baby. Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you are worried about using your medicines while pregnant.
It is safe to continue using your asthma medication while breastfeeding. It’s important not to neglect your own health and to keep your asthma under control, even if you are busy with your new baby. Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you are worried about using your medicines while breastfeeding.
In addition to recommendations from your GP or asthma nurse, there are some things you can try to help manage your asthma during pregnancy:
We’re on a mission to make healthcare more accessible and convenient. We have over 70 private doctor clinics across the UK – simply find your nearest one and see a GP today.
Our private doctors can help with managing your asthma and provide expert treatment and advice. Find out what treatment is available to you and start feeling better today. We can help with:
Where is your walk in clinic? And how can Medicspot help?
The Medicspot Clinical Station allows doctors to remotely listen to your chest, measure your oxygen levels, and take your temperature to effectively manage your condition.