Thunderstorm Asthma

By football grand final weekend, you should be taking your hay fever nasal spray, asthma preventer, or both – and don’t stop until New Year’s Day (most adults with asthma need to take a preventer all year, not just in springtime). What is thunderstorm asthma? Thunderstorm asthma is a potent mix of pollen and weather […]

Dust and dusting

People with asthma and allergies often assume they are allergic to household dust. However, it is not usually the dust itself that triggers common allergies, it is in fact all the other little particles that are found in amongst the dust. Commonly these include: human skin cells animal dander insect waste, including from house dust […]

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Pretty much every one has heard about VOCs, but what and where are they? There is no single definition for what constitutes a volatile organic compound (VOC), but it is safe to say that a VOC is a carbon-based organic compound that evaporates (or off-gases) at room temperature. VOCs are very common and may be […]

Car air filters update 2015

Major car companies need to improve driver and passenger air quality In 2013, National Asthma Council Australia looked at whether or not leading new car models sold in Australia had cabin air filters and, if so, what type. A surprising number of car models did not have optimal cabin air filtration. With almost two years […]


Download Factsheet (PDF, 273KB) Exposure to indoor and outdoor areas that are damp and have mould can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Mould is commonly found in bathrooms and fridges. It’s also found in places with little air circulation such as walk-in and built-in wardrobes, and in bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. Common allergic triggers […]

Dust mites

House dust mites Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask! What are house dust mites? House dust mites are arachnids (the same class of animal as spiders). They are very small creatures that live in household dust (often in bedding, furniture, fabrics, soft toys, clothing and carpets) feeding on dander (shed skin […]

Indoor humidity levels

Figure. Approximation of optimal temperature and humidity ranges for people with respiratory issues   Indoor humidity levels in the home can play an important role in family health, particularly where asthma and/or allergies are present. Healthy humidity Relative humidity, expressed as a percent, measures the absolute humidity relative to the maximum amount of water vapour that […]

Breathing easier indoors

It can be difficult to control what gasses and pollution you are exposed to outside, but we can have a much greater influence over our indoor environment. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are compounds that have a low boiling temperature which means they evaporate molecules at room temperature. Some VOCs occur naturally and not all are […]

Choosing a vacuum cleaner or other type of cleaner

A guide for people with asthma and allergies Most households have a vacuum cleaner, but many people don’t know what features they should look for, or whether they could also benefit from other cleaning devices. This fact sheet highlights some of the things people with asthma and allergies should consider. Cleaning machines should effectively remove […]

Travel insurance

Download Factsheet Travel tips Whether for business or pleasure, thousands of Australians with asthma travel every year. People with asthma who travel interstate or overseas should consider taking out travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses. For people with asthma, including well-controlled asthma, their condition will often be described under travel insurance policies as ‘pre-existing […]

Healthy eating for asthma

Download Factsheet Why does your weight matter? Carrying a few extra kilos can make your asthma harder to manage – the more kilos, the harder it gets. Working towards your ideal bodyweight can help you get fewer symptoms and use less medication. Losing weight can also help you sleep better Inspired? Talk to your doctor […]

Food allergies

Download Factsheet Food and asthma Food is not a common trigger for asthma. In fact, foods, drinks and food chemicals affect fewer than 5% of people with asthma (fewer than 2% of adults and fewer than 5–6% of children). People with asthma should consume a varied and nutritious diet, including breads and cereals, fruits and […]

Bites & stings

Download Factsheet What is allergy? Allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are usually harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens. Examples of allergens include house dust mites, pollen, mould, and pet dander. What can trigger allergic reactions? We all find the itch of a […]

Asthma & sleepovers

Download Factsheet Is your child’s asthma under control? You must assess whether your child’s asthma is well controlled before considering allowing them to stay the night at a friend’s place, especially if they have never stayed there before. It is also important that they feel comfortable enough to ask for assistance if they start to […]

Influenza (the flu)

What is Influenza? Influenza, commonly known as ‘the flu’, is an illness caused when an influenza virus infects the respiratory tract – your nose and lungs. Influenza infection usually has different symptoms and causes a more severe illness than the common cold. It may be a life-threatening infection in certain people. Flu is a common […]

Air purifiers

Air purifiers can be effective in removing allergens and irritants from the air. These allergens and irritants can be broken into two broad categories: Particulate matter – particles include pollen, pet dander, mould spores and dust mite allergens. Smoke, gasses and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – including pollution and fragrances. There are a number of different […]

Summer cleaning helps reduce asthma and allergies

Summer cleaning can help reduce allergy and asthma triggers in your home, advises the National Asthma Council Australia, but it must be done with care to avoid triggering an asthma attack while dusting. Dirt, dust, mould and other allergens tend to collect over the winter months, leading to a potentially dangerous build-up of these common […]

Asthma at a glance

Download Factsheet Asthma in Australia More than 2 million Australians have asthma – about 1 in 9 or 10 children and about 1 in 10 adults. Our rate is high compared to other countries. Fortunately the rate of asthma has declined in kids over the past decade, although it has remained stable in adults. More […]

Exercise & asthma

Download Factsheet Get active with asthma Don’t let your asthma stop you being physically active. Choose an activity you enjoy and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every day or most days. Consider getting involved in structured exercise people with asthma who participate in physical training feel better. Having asthma […]

Colds & flu

Download Factsheet Asthma triggers Common colds are a common trigger of asthma flare-ups, particularly in children.And these viral infections are thought to be involved in around 4 out of 5 bad asthma attacks in kids. If asthma symptoms flare up when you get a cold or the flu, your lungs might not respond as quickly […]

Car air filters

Download Factsheet In your car Many people spend a significant amount of time in a car, either as driver or a passenger. When in a car, you can be exposed to allergens or respiratory irritants, which can impact your comfort and driving. There are ways to minimise this exposure. What are the potential problems? Pollen […]


Download Factsheet First Aid for Asthma If asthma symptoms occur, don’t delay: Follow your personal written asthma action plan If you don’t have an action plan, take 4 separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever If the symptoms aren’t going away or are getting worse, then follow the steps in First Aid for Asthma Click to […]

Allergy at a glance

Download PDF Allergy facts Australia has one of the highest incidences of allergy in the world. Of the over 2 million people in Australia who have asthma, about 80% of these have allergies like hayfever. Allergy may run in families. ‘Atopy’ is the genetic or inherited tendency to develop allergic diseases. Your doctor can help […]

Travelling & holidays

Download Factsheet Before you go Make sure your asthma is going as well as possible before you leave. See your doctor for an asthma check-up. You don’t need to be sick to have an asthma review. Ask your doctor for a letter listing the medications you are taking and why – this is useful if […]

Smoking and asthma

Download Factsheet Smoking and asthma are a bad match. Smoking yourself or breathing in other people’s smoke: damages your lungs makes your asthma harder to manage stops your asthma medicines working properly increases your risk of asthma attacks or flare-ups As well as saving what you spend on cigarettes, quitting smoking may even mean you […]

Pregnancy & asthma

Download Factsheet What you need to know Many women find their asthma changes during pregnancy. Whether your asthma is better or worse, good asthma control when you are pregnant is vital for the best possible health for you and your baby. Do not stop taking your asthma medications. Stopping your medications can put your baby […]

Medication tips

Download Factsheet Achieving better asthma control Many people do not realise they aren’t using their asthma or COPD inhaler (puffer) correctly. Make sure your inhaler technique is correct. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or asthma educator to check, download a fact sheet, or watch the simple online How-to-Videos on the National Asthma Council Australia website. Understanding […]

Processes & treatments

Download Factsheet Understanding Processes and Treatments A number of Sensitive Choice® approved products are approved (in part) because the products contain certain treatments or attributes. Following is a brief overview of some of these. Healthguard HealthGuard® is an anti-microbial product that can be formulated into various finishes. It works to inhibit a broad spectrum of […]

Mind the Mould when Flood Waters Recede

The National Asthma Council Australia has called on those in regions that have been flooded to be aware of mould and to take steps to reduce its spread. As those affected by recent flooding will know, the problems caused by flooding do not go away with the flood waters. Water damage and the incursion of […]

Pets & allergies

Download factsheet Allergies in Australia Many Australians have allergies, and they are very common in people with asthma. Allergies occur when a person’s immune system reacts to substances (allergens) that are harmless for most people. Hay fever is one sort of allergic reaction, causing runny or itchy nose, throat or eyes. Allergies can also trigger […]

Asthma winter checklist

Download Factsheet Colds and flu can hit hard if you have asthma. In fact, the common cold is behind around 4 out of 5 bad asthma attacks. Make sure your lungs are in the best possible shape for winter by following these steps. Get your lungs checked See your doctor for an asthma review before […]

Climate control in your home

Download Factsheet House dust mites and mould – two of Australia’s leading asthma and allergies triggers – thrive in humid conditions. A dry, well-ventilated home can help your family breathe easier. Tips for climate control inside your home Make the most of natural ventilation and air circulation – open the windows! As well as ceiling […]

Cleaning tips

Download Factsheet Spring Cleaning Allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that do not bother most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found all around us. All sorts of asthma and allergy triggers can accumulate in your home, especially house dust mites and mould. Even though […]