National Asthma Week 2023 September 1-7
This National Asthma Week, Sensitive Choice connects you with health care professionals to answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We’re committed to helping the 2.7 million (11%) Australians who have asthma live better with asthma and allergies. We’ve teamed up with a range of health care professionals to address common topics of confusion about asthma.
Answering your questions about asthma and allergies
Day 1 | Introducing National Asthma Week and Sensitive Choice
1 – 7 September 2023 is National Asthma Week.
The National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice program is answering commonly asked questions about asthma and allergies.
Watch our daily video series where we talk to different health care professionals about asthma diagnosis, using written asthma action plans, how allergies impact asthma, and more.
On day 1 of National Asthma Week Adele Taylor, Sensitive Choice Program Manager, introduces what Sensitive Choice is and how you can tune in this week.
Day 2 | Asthma diagnosis and spirometry testing | What to do if you think you have asthma
Do you or your loved ones think you might have asthma?
Narelle Williamson, registered nurse, Asthma & Respiratory Educator and Senior Clinical Consultant for the National Asthma Council Australia is here to answer your questions.
On day 2 of National Asthma Week, Narelle explains the symptoms of asthma, getting diagnosed and what spirometry testing is.
Day 3 | What is a Written Asthma Action Plan and who needs one?
Do you have a Written Asthma Action Plan?
Debbie Rigby, Clinical Executive Lead at the National Asthma Council Australia explains everything you need to know about Written Asthma Action Plans.
On day 3 of National Asthma Week, Sensitive Choice highlights how Written Asthma Action Plans are an essential tool to good asthma management, and why it’s important for anyone who has been diagnosed with asthma to have one.
Download our templates for Written Asthma Action Plans.
Day 4 | How do allergies impact asthma?
Did you know? About 80% of people with asthma have allergies!
The National Asthma Council Australia’s Clinical Professor Sheryl Van Nunen discusses the impacts of allergies on asthma and debunks common myths about allergies.
These myths include:
- ‘Everyone has allergies’
- ‘Everyone is allergic to house dust mites’
- ‘There is nothing you can do about allergies’
- ‘There is nothing you can do about curing your allergies’
On day 4 of National Asthma Week, Sheryl Van Nunen explains the truth about asthma and allergies.
Day 5 | Are you overusing your asthma reliever medications?
Could you be overusing your asthma reliever? Does this matter?
On Day 5 of National Asthma Week, Debbie Rigby, National Asthma Council Australia Clinical Executive Lead, explains the impacts of overusing asthma reliever medications.
It’s important to recognise what counts as ‘overusing’ and how this impacts your asthma management.
Day 6 | Do you know what triggers your asthma?
Why is it important to understand your asthma triggers?
A key factor in reducing asthma symptoms is avoiding what triggers your asthma in the first place .
On day 6 of National Asthma Week, Adele Taylor, Sensitive Choice Program Manager, shares what the most common asthma and allergy triggers are and how you can get to know which allergens trigger your asthma.
Day 7 | What is the difference between asthma relievers and asthma preventers?
What is an asthma preventer and how is it different from an asthma reliever?
On day 7 of National Asthma Week, Dr Joel Ten, GP and spokesperson for the National Asthma Council Australia, explains the difference and how both are essential for people diagnosed with asthma.
Using your asthma preventer as your doctor prescribes can reduce the frequency and severity of your asthma attacks, and helps to improve lung health. Asthma preventers are needed for people who use their asthma relievers more than once or twice a month.
Visit your GP today to reassess your use of asthma preventer medications.
Meet the experts
This National Asthma Week, the Sensitive Choice program reached out to our asthma experts to help answer important questions about asthma and allergies.
Adele Taylor, Sensitive Choice Program Manager
Adele has been managing the Sensitive Choice program since 2017. You might recognise her appearances on House of Wellness and television news reports.
Adele is here to explain the most common asthma and allergy triggers in and around your home, and how Sensitive Choice approved products can help minimise the impact of these triggers.
Learn more about knowing your triggers!
Narelle Williamson, Asthma & Respiratory Educator and Senior Clinical Consultant
Narelle has developed nurse-led respiratory clinics in primary care and has been educating and consulting with patients and primary health care professionals for the past 12 years.
She has also travelled around Australia, delivering the ‘Asthma and Lung Health Best Practice for Professionals Program’ which educates GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists about respiratory health.
She is a registered nurse with over 25 years of experience in both acute hospital settings, primary health care, clinical education and paediatric palliative care.
Narelle embraces her opportunity to empower her patients and their families with the knowledge and confidence to manage their disease and live a better life.
Debbie Rigby, Clinical Executive Lead
Debbie is an Advanced Practice Pharmacist and brings over 40 years’ experience spanning clinical pharmacy practice, interdisciplinary care, policy and advocacy, clinical governance, guidelines development and education.
Debbie has a specific interest in respiratory conditions and is passionate about improving the care and support for people living with asthma through multidisciplinary patient-centred care, shared decision making and evidence-based medicine.
Clinical Professor Sheryl Van Nunen, Clinical Immunologist and Allergist
Dr Sheryl van Nunen, as a media spokesperson for allergy, in a voluntary capacity, for the Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian College of Allergy, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the National Asthma Campaign and the National Asthma Council Australia, has contributed to the understanding of allergic conditions by the public via numerous requested media contributions to television, radio, print media (popular books, newspapers, magazines and pamphlets), video productions and presentations, media launches and releases and audiotape presentations.
Dr Joel Ten, General Practitioner
Dr Joel Ten is a GP with over 14 years of clinical experience in both hospital and clinic work. Joel is actively involved in educating both people in the community and healthcare professionals. He holds a position as a member of the GP Advisory Group at the National Asthma Council Australia.