What we’re doing about lung and respiratory conditions

Chronic lung and respiratory conditions affect the lungs and airways. The most common conditions are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hay fever. Find out what we’re doing to help Australians living with these conditions.

What are lung and respiratory conditions?

Chronic lung and respiratory conditions are very common and affect almost a third (31%) of Australians. They include:

Asthma and COPD affect airflow to the lungs and make it hard to breathe. People with COPD continue to lose lung function despite taking medication, which does not usually happen with asthma. Smoking is a main cause of COPD and may cause as many as 8 out of 10 COPD-related deaths. The best way to prevent COPD is to avoid tobacco smoke.

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is caused by the nose or eyes coming into contact with pollens, dust mites, moulds and animal dander. Hay fever can lead to headaches, inadequate sleep and recurring ear and sinus infections.

Less common conditions include cystic fibrosis, sleep apnoea, and silicosis.

For more information about respiratory conditions see:

What are we doing about lung and respiratory conditions?

We support programs and initiatives that help prevent, detect and treat chronic respiratory diseases. We also fund research into chronic respiratory diseases, and maintain national monitoring and surveillance measures.

Actions to support treatment and management of respiratory conditions include the following:

See more chronic conditions resources.

Last updated: 
3 March 2020

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