One in two Australians now living with a chronic health condition1. This month, we’re taking an in depth look at the prevalence of chronic conditions in Australia and how Aussies are affected. See more here.
Young Aussie, Mathan, 23, was diagnosed with asthma last year. With his two passions being singing and running, Mathan was naturally concerned his condition would hinder his lifestyle, but preventative medication helps him achieve his goals.
“With proper medications, I didn’t actually need Ventolin so much. I’ve essentially been able to do everything that I wanted to do, without needing to fear that I will collapse and not be able to breathe.”
Watch below to learn more about what it’s like living with asthma, and how Mathan’s diagnosis hasn’t stopped him from living a healthy, active life.
Asthma is one of the most prominent chronic conditions in Australia, with data from the Medibank Better Health Index (MBHI) showing that asthma affected 1 in 10 Aussies in 2015. Asthma is characterised by frequent inflammation of the airways of the lungs, and while the seriousness of the condition varies from person-to-person, general symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
MBHI data also found the prevalence of asthma is higher amongst Aussie women, with 12.1% affected, compared with only 7.8% of Aussie men. Interestingly, across the generations, the prevalence of asthma peaks amongst Gen Xs at 11.3%, with Gen Z being least likely to be affected at just 7.1%.
While triggers can be different for everyone, according to the National Asthma Council Australia, common asthma triggers can include respiratory infections such as colds and flu, cigarette smoke, allergy-related triggers such as pollens or moulds, and cold weather, amongst others.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare