Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by the narrowing of the airways in the lungs. Chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, and episodes of wheezing are frequent occurrences for people with this respiratory disorder.
Asthma symptoms can be reversible with or without prescribed treatment. This disorder differs in each person, with cases ranging from mild to moderate to severe. In mild cases of asthma, symptoms can be irregular and cause little to no problems for people with this condition. Individuals with severe asthma may experience persistent coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, and experience impaired quality of life.
Asthma accounted for 34 percent of the total disease burden caused by respiratory conditions, and two-and-a-half percent of the overall disease burden in Australia for the year 2015. The asthma incidence in Australia increased over ten years, from nine-point-nine percent in 2007-2008, to 11.2 percent in 2017-2018. The years 2017-2018 saw one in nine Australians, which translates to an estimated 2.7 million people, receive asthma diagnoses from a doctor or a nurse. More than 400 fatalities in 2017 were the result of asthma.
Researchers continue conducting studies and investigating why asthma develops while identifying potential underlying causes and risk factors. Asthma may develop in some people and not others due to genetic and environmental factors. Engaging in certain behaviors may also increase one’s likelihood of developing this condition.
Various asthma triggers exist, including exercise, consumption of chemicals and food additives, and colds and other viral respiratory infections. Environmental triggers that could contribute to an asthma diagnosis include exposure to fumes, air pollutants, tobacco smoke, and allergens such as dust, pollen, and mold.
In Australia, asthma occurs in females at higher rates than it does in males. In 2017-2018, 12.3 percent of females had asthma, compared to 10.2 percent of males. In newborn babies to adolescents aged 14, asthma is more prevalent among boys compared to girls. Twelve-point-one percent of young boys had asthma, compared to seven-point percent of girls. Females aged 15 and older experience higher rates of asthma compared to males the same age.
Parents and guardians of children with asthma should schedule routine appointments with their family pediatrician as well as make visits to the emergency room when necessary. Adults should ask medical professionals about their child’s condition and work with them to develop an action plan. Asthma action plans should be a guide on what medications to give a child, ways to avoid asthma symptoms triggers, and how to recognize and handle mild, moderate, and severe flare-ups.
Parents should inform their child’s caretakers and teachers about their diagnosis and the treatment they need to maintain care for a child with asthma when they’re at a childcare center or school. Parents and guardians need to share their asthma action plans with teachers and caretakers, give them emergency contact numbers and stay in contact, and provide enough medication to alleviate their child’s asthma symptoms when they aren’t home.
Long-term control medications and quick-relief medicines can be expensive for asthma patients. It’s essential for parents of children with asthma to find a health insurance policy that covers their medical needs. Parents who have healthcare coverage could save money.
An informative site like iSelect gives parents access to comparison resources that allow them to learn about available insurance options and make a choice that suits their financial and medical needs. iSelect researches health insurance options for users and policy-seekers, providing detailed info on various health insurance products offered by different insurers. Parents of children with asthma should compare health insurance with iSelect to get a plan that enables them to purchase medication and afford physician and hospital visits.