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JUNE 2015

Keeping your asthma symptoms in check with My Asthma Guide.

Some alarming results surfaced during May as part of the AirSupply study, the first ever national snapshot of asthma in Australia, led by researchers at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

The survey of more than 2,500 adults with asthma found almost half had poor control over their symptoms, and a third required urgent treatment for an asthma attack which could have been prevented – a wake up call for Australia's asthma community.

The study's authors acknowledge that the main way to turn the tide is to follow recommendations set out in the national guidelines for the treatment of asthma and the National Asthma Council's flagship publication, the Australian Asthma Handbook, updated in April this year.

People with asthma and their carers can take control of asthma with My Asthma Guide  a summary of Australian Asthma Handbook for patients. My Asthma Guide is great introduction to asthma basics and includes strategies to keep asthma symptoms in check.

Now is the time to get your flu shot

Winter is here, a time of year that is particularly risky for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

There are several different influenza strains that change every year, so the recommended vaccine also changes annually. 

If you have not done so already, talk to your GP about getting an influenza vaccination (flu shot), which offers a high degree of protection from viruses that can quickly turn life-threatening. Some people may even be eligible for a free vaccination including pregnant women, people over the age of 65 and those with serious lung conditions including severe asthma.

Talk to your doctor today and make sure you are protected. 

All you need to know about dust mites

House dust mites are microscopic creatures that live in household dust – often in bedding, furniture, fabrics, soft toys, clothing and carpets – and feed on our shed skin.

The house dust mite is the most common allergen source in humid regions in Australian and New Zealand. Most of the allergen comes from their faecal pellets – that's their poo –  and their body fragments also play a part.

Attempts to completely eradicate dust mites are unlikely to succeed but adopting a range of strategies should reduce exposure to the allergen.

Escaping the winter blues? Make sure you're covered

If you have asthma and are thinking about travelling for either business or pleasure, you should consider taking out travel insurance.

When taking our travel insurance, there are certain things people with asthma should be aware of.

Our blog piece this week covers what you need to know before you take out cover, as well as some handy travel tips to help keep you and your family safe.

Canadian study strengthens link between common cleaning products and asthma flare-ups

It's no news to us that some cleaning products can trigger asthma and other allergic reactions so we're always keeping our eye out for new evidence.

A study from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center in Canada has found a strong link between asthma flare-ups and common products such as bleach, glass cleaner, detergents and air fresheners.

If you think certain cleaning products are making your asthma or allergies worse, Sensitive Choice has approved a range that might help. Some of these products are unfortunately not available at many supermarkets, so the Sensitive Choice website is the best place to start in tracking them down.

Help an asthma research study by completing a short survey

A research study being undertaken at Macquarie University is seeking volunteers to complete a 20-minute survey.

The study, entitled Asthma, emotion and rumination: relationships with distress and quality of life, will reveal insights into the experiences of people with asthma. 
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