Asthma isn’t something you have to deal with on your own. Your doctor and other health professionals can help you get good asthma control and live a full and active life.
What can they do?
- Give information about asthma medicines – how they work and any side effects
- Check your inhaler technique
- Assess your asthma control
- Give you a written asthma action plan
- Teach you how to recognise and deal with worsening asthma symptoms and when to get help
- Answer questions
Your Asthma Foundation
Call the 1800 ASTHMA Helpline or email us with any questions you have – our staff have lots of experience and knowledge to help you. There’s also training, information sessions and resources that might help.
Find the right doctor
A good doctor for your asthma is someone you are comfortable being honest with and trust. They should give you enough time to get your questions answered, and explain things clearly to you. They should also give you a written Asthma Action Plan – a written set of instructions to help you recognise and deal with worsening asthma.
You might like to ask friends if they have someone they could recommend. Some doctor’s surgeries, health care centres or hospitals have asthma clinics, where you can make an appointment for a specific asthma review. There may be an “asthma nurse” who has specialised training in asthma and its management and can help you with information and support. A practise that can offer you a spirometry test is also a good feature to look for.
Once you find a doctor you are comfortable with, stick with them. The better they know you and your history, the more they will be able to help you manage your health. Doctor-shopping can cause problems – particularly that the new doctor will not know your history or the previous tests and treatments you have had, which is vital information for good asthma management.
You should check in with your doctor at least every 6-12 months to make sure your medicines are working right for you, as your asthma can change over time.
Your doctor may choose to refer you to a specialist if:
- Your breathing problems are difficult to diagnose or control
- You are getting lots of side effects from your medication
- You need a special allergy assessment
- You have been very ill with your asthma, or have had very frequent attacks
Most people don’t need to see a specialist for their asthma management.
Talk to your pharmacist
Pharmacists can be really helpful with information, especially about the medicines you are taking, and how to take them. Some pharmacists have even had special asthma training.