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Conditions

Dr Herath cares for an extensive range of adult pulmonary conditions from the common to the complex and rare. Here are some conditions she treats.

Respiratory

Asthma
Bronchiectasis
COPD/emphysema
Lung Cancer/Nodules
Lung fibrosis
Sarcoidosis

Sleep

Insomnia
Sleep Apnoea
Narcolepsy
Restless legs
Parasomnia


Bronchitis

What is bronchitis?

  • Bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways in the lungs which typically causes an annoying and ongoing cough and shortness of breath
  • Acute bronchitis is often caused by cold and flu viruses and can last for a few weeks, while chronic bronchitis can lasts for months and often recurs annually.
  • Chronic bronchitis is usually associated with smoking.

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

  • Symptoms of bronchitis include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Aches and pains
  • Fever
  • Elderly people, smokers and people with poor immunity or other existing respiratory conditions such as asthma are more prone to bronchitis.

What are the treatments of bronchitis?

  • Many people with bronchitis will recover in a few weeks with time and rest and paracetamol for fever and aches.
  • Antibiotics will not work on bronchitis caused by a virus, so follow your doctor’s advice on this.
  • Inhaling steam can help, along with warm baths and drinking plenty of fluids to help thin the lung mucus.
  • In more severe cases, bronchodilators open the bronchial tubes and clear out mucus, while mucolytics can be prescribed by your doctor to thin and loosen mucus.
    This will provide relief by making the mucus easier to cough up.

Conditions

Dr Herath cares for an extensive range of adult pulmonary conditions from the common to the complex and rare. Here are some conditions she treats.


Asthma

What is Asthma?

  • Asthma is a functional disease. This causes your airways to narrow and swell, producing excess mucus and shortness of breath intermittently.
  • Sometimes asthma is just a minor nuisance while exercising or during a cold, whilst for other it can lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
  • More than 2.7million Australians have asthma, yet only 20% of them have an asthma management plan, which can reduce the chance of developing long-term and serious asthma-related issues.
  • Asthma is related closely to sinus infections, salicylate allergies and fungal diseases that can be found in potting mix.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Symptoms of asthma include:

  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is common in children)
  • Coughing or wheezing made worse by the flu or a cold
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Sleeping difficulties caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Needing to use occasional quick relief inhaler more often, or increased difficulty breathing are signs of worsening asthma.
  • Sometimes asthma “flares up” in certain situations such as exercise, cigarette smoke, some medications such as Aspirin or exposure to chemical fumes or chlorine
    Allergy-induced asthma can be triggered by dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, grass.
  • At SRS we are well equipped to test and treat for allergies in adults
    Weather conditions such as a thunderstorm, when there is a lot of pollen in the air can also trigger asthma.

What are the treatments for asthma?

Getting a proper diagnosis is very important.
Any signs of coughing or wheezing that last more than a few days should be evaluated medically as treating asthma early can prevent long-term lung damage.

Asthma treatments generally involve preventer medications used every day, and quick-relief inhalers that are used when asthma strikes.
If you find yourself relying on quick relief inhalers more than three times a week, your asthma is not under control and you should have it reviewed.

Asthma treatments frequently change over time and if you underuse or overuse medications asthma can worsen, so don’t try to solve the problem by taking more medication or stopping your medication suddenly because you feel your coughing or wheezing has increased or stopped.
Always discuss increasing or tapering with your doctor or respiratory physician.

It’s also important to avoid your triggers if they are smoking, cold air, air pollution or pollens whilst mowing the grass.

For patients with severe asthma and asthma not responding to inhalers now there is funded treatment in the form of monthly injections called immunotherapy.

To qualify for this type of treatment you need to be under the care of a specialist Respiratory Physician.