Students With Asthma Starting Or Returning To College Urged To Properly Manage Their Condition

28 Sep 2020

The Asthma Society reminds young people to take their asthma medication as prescribed and to have an Asthma Action Plan in place

As students prepare to start or return to colleges around the country, the Asthma Society of Ireland is appealing to young people to put extra protections in place to help manage their condition amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Starting college is a transition for any young person. Between moving home, meeting new people, and starting a new chapter of life amid changing COVID-19 restrictions, it is more important than ever for students to take time to assess their asthma management.

To discuss these topics in more detail, and to support young people with asthma starting college, the Asthma Society of Ireland will host an Instagram live on Wednesday 30th September at 4pm on @AsthmaSocietyOfIreland. The Instagram live will be led by respiratory specialist nurse Ruth Morrow and will give young people the opportunity to tune in and familiarize themselves with the basics of asthma management, to focus on the importance of taking asthma medication as prescribed and having an Asthma Action Plan in place, as they start or return to college.

Emily Blennerhassett, interim CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: “Starting College is an exciting time but in the midst of the current pandemic it may be a daunting time for young people with asthma. For many starting college, they will be solely in charge of managing their condition for the first time. We want to reach out to them via this Instagram live to ensure that they understand their asthma and have the skills to best care for themselves.

In light of COVID-19, asthma management is now more important than ever. We are urging young people to take steps to not only manage their condition, but also to remain vigilant and continue to follow HSE advice. 

We want to remind students that the best way to protect their health is to take their medication only as prescribed, and to complete an Asthma Action Plan with their health care provider or via our Asthma and COPD Adviceline or Asthma and COPD WhatsApp messaging service so that they are in control of their condition.”

Students are also encouraged to make use of the resources available and encouraged to reach out to the Asthma Society’s Sláintecare funded Asthma and COPD WhatsApp messaging service with any concerns or questions.  Just send a text via WhatsApp message to 086 059 0132 for one to one support with an asthma or COPD nurse. 

Emily Blennerhassett, continued: “We want to remove the cost barrier to asthma care and management. Our free Asthma and COPD WhatsApp messaging service is perfect for young people seeking information from a healthcare professional about their asthma. It gives them the opportunity to take charge of their condition through the convenience of a WhatsApp message.”

The Asthma Society’s Life Alongside COVID-19 campaign launched in June, with resources to support people returning and readjusting to work outside of the home. People with asthma who are working in colleges should also take the time to care for their condition. Back2Work resources including a downloadable checklist are available to view on This campaign is proudly supported by AstraZeneca.

Federico Viganò, Company President AstraZeneca Ireland, said: “The Asthma Society’s Life Alongside COVID-19 Campaign has already reached many people with asthma returning to work and returning to school.  We are delighted to support the Asthma Society of Ireland through this campaign which extends informational resources and support services to students and young people returning to college thus empowering them to best manage their own health.”

The Asthma and COPD WhatsApp Messaging Service has proven to be an excellent resource for those who need help managing their asthma or COPD in the context of COVID-19. People living with, or supporting those, with asthma or COPD can send a WhatsApp message to 086 059 0132 to start a conversation with an asthma or COPD nurse today.