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Asthma and COPD services

Chronic respiratory diseases that need attention to prevent exacerbations and trips to hospital.

Asthma


Asthma is a common, long-term or chronic, disease. It affects about five million people in the UK.

It’s important you and your doctor or practice nurse manage your asthma together. Make sure you have regular appointments to review your symptoms and a full review at least once a year.

What is an asthma review?

An asthma review should cover

  • Measuring your breathing by spirometry or peak flow
  • Reviewing your inhaler technique
  • Discussing your triggers
  • Adjusting your treatment, whether adding or removing medication depending on your breathing results
  • Discussing your asthma action plan

What is an asthma action plan?

It is an agreement of things to do to manage your asthma between you and your nurse/doctor. If you have a plan, you are less at risk of a severe attack.

Your plan should cover:

  • What’s normal for you when your asthma is under control
  • Which medications you should take
  • How to recognise when your asthma gets worse
  • What to do about worsening symptoms: who to contact and how to alter your medications. You may be prescribed a rescue course of steroids to keep at home.

It will help our nurses, if you fill before coming for your check up, the questionnaire “asthma review” available on SystmOnline. It could save you from coming to the practice if you are doing really well.

More information is available at the Asthma UK website

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, describes a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to empty air out of the lungs because your airways have been narrowed.

COPD usually develops because of long-term damage to your lungs from breathing in a harmful substance, usually cigarette smoke, as well as smoke from other sources like air pollution.

The best thing you can do is stop smoking

If you have COPD, being active and exercising can help you to improve your breathing, your fitness and your quality of life. Don’t avoid activities that make you breathless: you’ll get less fit and out of breath more easily. Regular exercise can help reverse this by strengthening your muscles. Pulmonary rehabilitation is also available for some groups of patients.

What is a COPD review?

A COPD annual review should cover

  • Measuring your breathing by spirometry
  • Reviewing your inhaler technique
  • Discussing your smoking habits
  • Adjusting your treatment; adding or removing medication depending on your breathing results.
  • Discussing your COPD action plan

What is a COPD action plan?

It is an agreement of things to do to manage your COPD between you and your nurse/doctor. If you have a plan, you are less at risk of a severe attack.

Your plan should cover:

  • Discussing smoking cessation plans
  • Which medications you should take
  • How to recognise when your COPD gets worse
  • What to do about worsening symptoms: who to contact and how to alter your medications. You may be prescribed a rescue course of steroids and antibiotics to keep at home.

It will help our nurses, if you fill before coming for your check up, the questionnaire “COPD review” available on SystmOnline.

More information is available at the British Lung Foundation.

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