Asthma Treatment and Advice

LloydsPharmacy are here to support and advise on how to best manage your asthma. Find below a useful guide to treatment and support to help you take control of your asthma.

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Everything you need to know about asthma

How can asthma affect you?

Asthma is a long term condition where your airways get inflamed and narrow, the reason for which is not always clear. It affects 5.4m people in the UK* and the severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Asthma generally causes shortness of breath, wheezing, a tightness in the chest and coughing, especially at night. Symptoms can vary in the course of the day or during different seasons.

How can you take control of your asthma?

It’s possible to control your symptoms with a preventer inhaler so that you have fewer or no symptoms at any time of day. This can allow you to exercise without problems. It’s not a bad idea to learn and remember the three Ts: Treatment, Technique, Trigger’s.

We’re here to support you

Follow the treatment directions given to you by your GP – and don’t forget you can pop into any LloydsPharmacy and talk to us about how we can support you, discuss managing your asthma and we can answer any questions or concerns you have and offer our expert advice. The main treatments for asthma are inhalers which can be split into two types; a preventer inhaler which you will need to use every day, even if your asthma is under control and a reliever inhaler (usually blue) to use when needed if you are suddenly short of breath.


This opens up your airways over a period of time, and reduces the inflammation in your lungs. To keep your asthma under control, you need to use this inhaler every day. Always rinse your mouth with water afterwards to avoid any soreness in your mouth.


Keep this inhaler with you at all times, and use it whenever you experience shortness of breath. It will help open your airways quickly and help you breathe more easily. You should keep a spare inhaler at work or school in case of emergencies, so ask your doctor to prescribe an extra one for you. If you notice that your current treatment is not controlling your symptoms, speak to your local LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist, asthma nurse or GP for advice.

If your inhaler doesn’t look like the one on the picture, follow the instructions from the manufacturer and inhale as directed. Otherwise pop into your local pharmacy and one of our pharmacists will be happy to help.


Are you using your inhaler correctly?

There’s a range of different types of inhalers that you might be prescribed, but mostly they fall into two categories. Each one has a particular technique that needs to be used to receive the right dose of asthma medicine.

Pressurised, metered-dose inhalers

These are the most common inhalers. 1. Shake your inhaler well before use 2. Put it in your mouth and make a seal with your lips around the mouthpiece 3. Press the canister at the top to release the drug while inhaling it in one deep, gentle breath Set up your inhaler by following the manufacturer’s instructions and inhale as directed. The pharmacist can help you to perfect your technique. You may notice a taste in your mouth after inhaling.


We can help you

If you want to improve your inhaler technique, you can use a spacer to make taking the medication easier. Spacers are effective for any age, but essential for helping children to take the medicine. Please pop into LloydsPharmacy and ask a member of our team for more information. If you find it difficult to hold your inhaler or press the canister down, consider a Haleraid that attaches a easy-squeeze handle to the inhaler.

Come and check your technique

Pop into LloydsPharmacy and ask us about our Respiratory Support Service. We can help increase your confidence in your technique and ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from your asthma medicines. Set up your inhaler by following the manufacturer’s instructions and inhale as directed. The pharmacist can help you to perfect your technique. You may notice a taste in your mouth after inhaling.

How can you avoid the triggers?

If you know what triggers your asthma, you can act fast to stop your symptoms from getting worse. A trigger can be anything that irritates your lungs and brings on your symptoms, for example:

Hay fever and other allergies

If you suffer from asthma, you are more likely to react to pollen, mould and fungal spores. They may make your asthma symptoms worse, as well as giving you itchy eyes, making you sneeze and making your nose run or block. We recommend that you begin your hay fever treatment a few weeks before the hay fever season starts. We can advise you on the best treatment for your symptoms and which ones are safe to use in conjunction with your asthma medicines. It’s also best to keep a check on the pollen count, and ensure that doors and windows are closed early morning and evening when pollen is at its highest.


During exercise, you breathe harder and the air reaching your lungs is colder and drier than usual. This can irritate the airways making them tighten and inflamed. If this happens, use your reliever inhaler before exercise.


This can make your asthma worse so ask a member of the LloydsPharmacy team for advice about quitting smoking and information on our nicotine replacement therapy products. You can also get support from our Online Doctor Service at

Extremes of temperature and humidity

These may adversely affect your asthma so make sure you always carry your reliever inhaler.

Infections such as colds & flu

These can make your asthma worse. Make sure you get an annual flu jab – ask us for details of our annual winter vaccinations programme. And always follow good hygiene routines to avoid infections.

Stress and anxiety

These can sometimes make your asthma worse. Why not make some lifestyle changes? Alcohol is known to increase stress and anxiety, so aim to limit your intake and get out and about or do some gentle relaxation exercises.


*Asthma UK November 2016