The world’s leading asthma specialists gathered in Brisbane to examine new ways to manage the condition.
While Australia has one of the highest asthma death rates in the world, patients often don’t recognise the seriousness of their disease.
Jess Lodge reports.
One in ten Australians are affected by Asthma.
It’s the most common chronic respiratory disease in the developed world.
Professor Charles Mitchell, Former chairman, Asthma Foundation Qld: “Australia, unfortunately, still has one of the highest death rates from Asthma.”
As part of World Asthma Day, the Connecting Asthma Care conference is being held in Brisbane.
Leading health professionals are trying to raise awareness.
Mark Brooke, Asthma Australia CEO: “We’re delighted that this conference has been able to highlight and shine a light on the issues of asthma and respiratory illness in general.”
This conference has heard Australians, in particular, still don’t view asthma as a serious medical condition.
Many underestimate the tragic consequences of not managing their symptoms.
A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found only seven per cent of young people are taking their medication regularly.
Ashley Walton, Asthma Sufferer: “I think for a lot of young people, they really do underestimate the severity of asthma in general, and their own asthma.”
Professor Helen Reddel, Report Co-Author: “It’s there even if you don’t have any symptoms. So that’s why the ‘preventer’ treatment is so important.”
Researchers at the Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute here in Brisbane are focusing on prevention too.
Trying to unlock the causes of Asthma.
Jayden Logan, Qld Children’s Medical Research Institute: “We’re particularly interested in looking at the role of environmental factors in this early life development of asthma.”
Experts say the best advice for sufferers is to work with their doctor to develop an asthma action plan.
Jess Lodge, QUT News.