Help al­lows young asthma suf­ferer to breathe eas­ier

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMILY FORD

Asthma suf­ferer Muham­mad Mo­haram has Asthma Auck­land to thank for his con­di­tion im­prov­ing.

The 4-year-old was re­ferred to the as­so­ci­a­tion af­ter sev­eral vis­its to the hos­pi­tal over the past year.

He suf­fered from hay fever and un­known al­ler­gies that Asthma Auck­land, part of Asthma New Zealand Lung As­so­ci­a­tion, helped to iden­tify.

His fa­ther, Ahmed Mo­haram, says the sup­port the fam­ily re­ceived from the as­so­ci­a­tion was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘Ev­ery time he had a cold or runny nose, he was al­ways breath­less,’’ he says. ‘‘You go to your GP when things need im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion. But you can go to Asthma Auck­land for guid­ance, sup­port, and on-go­ing treat­ment. They have spe­cialised knowl­edge and can of­fer a lot of ad­vice.’’

More than 20 per cent of New Zealan­ders, in­clud­ing 25 per cent of New Zealand chil­dren, have asthma, a chronic con­di­tion of the air­ways in­side the lungs, Asthma Auck­land says. The as­so­ci­a­tion pro­vides free ad­vice, in­for­ma­tion, and prod­ucts to fam­i­lies af­fected by the con­di­tion.

The ser­vice works along­side GPs to sup­port lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to­ward bet­ter health out­comes and help pre­vent long-term dam­age like chronic ob­tru­sive pul­monary dis­ease, which can arise as a re­sult of un­con­trolled asthma symp­toms.

Asthma nurse ed­u­ca­tor Janet Delooze worked with the Mo­haram fam­ily af­ter a hos­pi­tal re­fer­ral. She meets with clients to dis­cuss their history and med­i­ca­tion, and an­swer ques­tions.

‘‘We also go over how their med­i­ca­tion works and how to use it cor­rectly and ef­fec­tively, and de­velop an asthma ac­tion plan. This helps peo­ple know what symp­toms to look for, in­stead of leav­ing it un­til they have to be hos­pi­talised.

‘‘It’s about giv­ing peo­ple the knowl­edge to con­trol their asthma.’’

Delooze says asthma can be trig­gered by a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing clut­tered bed­rooms, beds by the win­dow, pets and al­ler­gies.

‘‘You have to iden­tify trig­gers and man­age those, too.’’

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