Asthma and allergies


Asthma is a condition where a person's airways become inflamed and narrow and produce extra mucus. This makes it difficult to breathe and can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest, a cough and wheezing. Asthma can be mild, but it can also interfere with daily activities; in some cases, it may lead to a medical emergency. Although there’s no cure, usually it can be controlled, and most people with asthma can stay active and have a healthy life.

Asthma symptoms can be triggered by different things in different people. Common triggers include exercise, cigarette smoke, having a cold or flu, and allergens in the air (e.g. grass pollen).

To control asthma, you need:

  • medicines – taken the right way at the right time
  • regular medical appointments, for check-ups and to learn more about living with asthma
  • an action plan, so that you know exactly what to do when symptoms occur.


  • Asthma Australia
    Find out everything you need to know about asthma, including what it means for people with asthma, asthma triggers, training and first aid information.
  • Better Health Channel – Asthma
    Learn about asthma in adults, children and teenagers, how to manage asthma and how to avoid triggers.
  • Health Direct – Asthma symptoms
    Read about asthma symptoms, how to identify a severe asthma attack and what you can do about it.


Melbourne's hay fever season runs from 1 October to 31 December each year, and is dreaded by many. Common symptoms include itchy ears and throat, a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. These symptoms can affect our day-to-day lives, so it’s important to get prepared. Check the Melbourne Pollen Count and Forecast website or download the Melbourne Pollen Count app on the App Store or Google Play.

For more information about allergies and where to get help, see Better Health Channel’s allergies explained page.