Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.
It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also appear for the first time in adults.
There's currently no cure for asthma, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it doesn't have a significant impact on your life.
Nurse Valerie Steenson has special training in the management of Asthma and COPD patient care.
She holds regular clinics by appointment only on Wednesday morning, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
You will be invited to attend an Asthma Review Clinic and Nurse Steenson will draw up a personal action plan. This will include information about your medicines, how to monitor your condition and what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.
- emphysema – damage to the air sacs in the lungs
- chronic bronchitis – long-term inflammation of the airways
COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Many people don't realise they have it. Don't ignore the symptoms. If they're caused by COPD, it's best to start treatment as soon as possible, before your lungs become significantly damaged.
Nurse Steenson will ask about your symptoms and whether you smoke or have smoked in the past. She can organise a breathing test to help diagnose COPD and rule out other lung conditions, such as asthma.
She may also:
- ask about your symptoms
- examine your chest and listen to your breathing with a stethoscope
- ask whether you smoke or used to smoke
- calculate your body mass index (BMI) using your weight and height
- ask if you have a family history of lung problems
You might also be asked to carry out a breathing test called spirometry or some other tests including a chest x-ray, blood test, ecg or peak flow test.