Asthma and Anaphylaxis

pdfASCIA PCC Asthma and anaphylaxis 201988.67 KB

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. People with asthma experience a narrowing of the airways due to inflammation in the lungs, which blocks the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Asthma is most easily recognised by the following symptoms:

Asthma and anaphylaxis

Asthma, food allergy and high risk of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) frequently occur together and asthma increases the risk of fatal anaphylaxis.

It is therefore important to manage your asthma well, as part of anaphylaxis risk management. If you are using your reliever medication frequently you should make an appointment with your GP to improve your asthma management.

You may be unsure if you are having an asthma attack or anaphylaxis, because wheezing, difficulty breathing and persistent cough can present with anaphylaxis.

It is important to note that the progression and severity of allergic reactions can be unpredictable.  Most food related allergic reactions start within 20 minutes or up to two hours after ingestion. Mild to moderate symptoms of allergy may or may not present before symptoms of anaphylaxis.

If you have asthma, have been prescribed an adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector and suddenly start to have difficulty breathing:

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Updated May 2019