Replace wheezing for breathing easy with our refreshed Respiratory Management Service.
Our London air can make us wheeze. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a respiratory condition such as asthma or a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we can help you. Our Respiratory Management Service is free and confidential, giving you expert advice on how you can help relieve your symptoms and get the most out of your medication.
Did you know 70% of people do not use their inhaler correctly?
Our trained advisers can give you expert tips to improve your inhaler technique,
giving you more confidence to manage your condition. We can help you understand your medicines more to help you get maximum benefit and to ensure that there is minimum impact on your day-to-day life.
Pop in any time and ask about our new Respiratory Management Service.
If you’ve recently been prescribed a new medicine, you may also find our New Medicine Service helpful. If you have any questions or concerns at all, just ask a member of our pharmacy team.
In the meantime, this downloadable leaflet explains a bit more about asthma and COPD, what to expect, how we can help you and the 3 Ts - Treatment, Technique, Triggers.
Asthma is a long term condition where your airways get inflamed and narrow, the reason for which is not always clear. Affecting 5.4m people in the UK, the severity of symptoms can vary from person to person and during the course of the day or during different seasons.
Generally, it causes shortness of breath, wheezing, a tightness in the chest and coughing, especially at night, although it’s possible to control your symptoms with a preventer inhaler, which can also allow you to exercise without problems.
Follow the treatment directions given to you by your GP, but remember that we’re here with expert advice to help you manage your asthma. The main treatments are inhalers which can be split into two types;
Preventer It opens up your airways over a period of time, and reduces the inflammation in your lungs, so use it every day to keep your asthma under control.
Reliever It opens your airways quickly to help you breathe more easily, so use it whenever you experience shortness of breath. Keep this inhaler with you at all times - your GP can prescribe an extra one to be kept somewhere handy, in case of emergencies.
Always rinse your mouth with water after use of either inhaler to avoid soreness in your mouth and to help prevent tooth decay.
If you notice that your current treatment is not controlling your symptoms, speak to our Pharmacist, your asthma nurse or GP for advice.
We can help increase your confidence in your inhaler technique to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your asthma medicine. Each category of inhaler has a particular technique to receive the right dose of asthma medicine, so ask our Pharmacist or follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you want to improve your inhaler technique, you can use a spacer to make taking the medication easier, or if you find it difficult to hold your inhaler or press the canister down, consider a Haleraid that attaches an easy-squeeze handle. Ask a member of our pharmacy team for more information.
There are common triggers that can irritate your lungs and bring on your symptoms. If you know what triggers your asthma, you can act fast to stop your symptoms from getting worse.
• Hay fever treatment should be started a few weeks before the season start – ask us what’s best for you. Check the daily pollen count keeping windows closed early morning and evening.
• Exercise can irritate your airways so use your reliever inhaler before exercise, if necessary.
• Smoking can make your asthma worse so ask us for advice on how to quit.
• Extremes of temperature may adversely affect your asthma so always carry your reliever inhaler.
• Infections can make your asthma worse. Ask about our annual winter vaccinations programme to protect yourself.
• Stress and anxiety can be relieved with simple lifestyle changes such as good nutrition, limiting your alcohol intake and gentle relaxation exercises.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a number of lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. It’s a narrowing of your airways making it difficult to breathe, where you may suffer from a persistent cough with phlegm and get frequent chest infections.
Did you know over 3 million in the UK live with COPD, but only about 900,000 have been diagnosed
Pulmonary Rehabilitation combines exercise with education and support to help you learn to breathe as well as you can. You work with a team of specialists to improve your physical condition, lung fitness and muscle strength. Ask us about how we can support you with our Respiratory Management Service, or alternatively speak to your GP or respiratory nurse for further information on a
Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme to see how it could help you.
You can practice breathing control techniques. The British Lung Foundation has lots of useful guidance that may help you.
Whilst there’s no cure for COPD, treatment can help relieve the symptoms. Inhalers are the main type of treatment, with preventers (brown), relievers (blue) and combination inhalers. There are also medicines that help reduce the viscosity of your sputum (the substance you cough up), so you may be prescribed tablets.
Whether you've been prescribed one inhaler or more, we can help increase your confidence in your technique to ensure that you’re getting the maximum benefit from your COPD medicine. It’s vital to use your inhalers regularly and as directed, even if your COPD symptoms seem to be under control. Just ask how we can help you.
Your COPD symptoms can suddenly get worse, so whenever you experience these exacerbations or 'flare-ups', make sure you notify your GP immediately so that they can help. Here are some common triggers for you to try to avoid and advice on what can help.
• During hot weather, try to stay in cool areas or protect yourself with sunglasses and a hat. Check the daily pollen count keeping windows closed early morning and evening.
• During cold weather, try to wear a scarf or face mask loosely over your nose and mouth.
• Smoking is the most common cause of COPD. If you would like to quit, ask about our Smoking Cessation Service and range of nicotine replacement therapy products.
• Infections like flu and pneumonia can intensify your symptoms. Ask about our annual winter vaccinations programme.
• Exercise may make you breathless, but regular light exercise such as a short daily walk can help ease symptoms and improve your breathing.
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