AstraZeneca announced today the launch of its Severe Asthma awareness campaign entitled, ‘Listen To Your Asthma’, in collaboration with Asthma Malaysia and Brand Ambassador Dina Nadzir, singer and radio announcer, sharing her personal journey as an asthma patient. The Listen To Your Asthma campaign is to help educate and raise awareness about severe asthma so that those suffering from severe asthma symptoms can get the right diagnosis and treatment to lead a better quality of life.
Knowing Severe Asthma

Severe Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory condition that affects the airways to the lungs and does not respond to commonly prescribed medication for regular asthma. It is a long-term condition where tiny muscles around the breathing airways tighten and the walls swell up, leading to smaller-sized tubes channelling air into the lungs. This leads to a drop in the amount of oxygen that goes into the body. Severe Asthma has a number of symptoms, and one of the most common symptoms is wheezing. Patients can show other signs, too, including breathlessness, chest tightness, increased phlegm production or coughing. Severe asthma includes the use of oral corticosteroids and an over-reliance on reliever medication to get severe asthma under control. Each individual has different causes and triggers for the symptoms which react differently to their airways.¹

COVID-19 and Severe Asthma
COVID-19 has had an added concern for those with asthma, as patients with severe asthma have a higher risk of complications from the viral infection.² The best way for patients to avoid complications is to ensure that their asthma is manageable with the right type of treatment.³

Listen To Your Asthma
While the severity of asthma differs from one person to another, severe asthma could be more intense making day-to-day life challenging due to limited social activities.¹ This campaign is to encourage those suffering from asthma symptoms to take the Listen To Your Asthma test, an online questionnaire on Asthma Malaysia’s website to know the likelihood of their current condition. As they answer each question progressively, they will hear the different wheezing sounds based on the answers they provide. This is to give them an understanding of the different severity levels of asthma they may be facing so that they can use the test results to discuss with their doctor and get a proper diagnosis and the right treatment option.

Dr Helmy Haja Mydin
Dr Helmy Haja Mydin, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Co-founder of Asthma Malaysia said, “The goal of this campaign is to help individuals with severe asthma access the right information in order to help them manage their condition better. Asthma is still misunderstood by many, leading to suboptimal control as a result of incorrect medication, not taking medication regularly and even incorrect techniques when using inhalers. With these in mind, Asthma Malaysia recently launched its new website containing information on severe asthma. This will be beneficial and useful for those who need to learn more about this disease.”

Diagnosing Severe Asthma

“Every person diagnosed with asthma embarks on a unique journey. There is no standard path, and each patient has an individual story to tell about his or her experience with the condition,” Says Dina Nadzir, who is also living with an asthma condition.

Many Malaysians are unaware of the various levels of asthma severity and how they affect patients. Severe asthma impairs not only the patient's breathing but also their quality of life, limiting the patient's everyday activities and preventing him or her from attaining quality sleep. It can sometimes lead to lung damage, which may be permanent and may require additional treatment. It is the most severe form of asthma and can potentially be fatal. That is why it’s important to get help as soon as possible during a severe asthma attack.⁴

“Appropriate biomarker tests can be used to ascertain the type of asthma an individual has. These biomarkers, taken from blood samples and a breathing test, can help identify specific severe asthma types which will then lead to appropriate treatment and prescription. Ultimately, we aim to individualise asthma treatment to improve patient outcomes,” explains Dr Helmy Haja Mydin.

Treating Severe Asthma
While there is no cure for asthma, when a patient has been diagnosed and the type of asthma is identified, proper treatment can be made. Treatments can range from utilising various types of medication, lifestyle changes or both.⁶ Globally, in the era of COVID-19, major respiratory societies recommend severe asthma patients continue with the biologics treatment.⁵ Biologics assist by blocking the response to airway triggers that cause inflammation.⁷

The efforts from this campaign are in line with Asthma Malaysia’s mission of raising more public education and empowering individuals to take control and better manage their asthma. As part of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to empower Malaysians to take better care of their asthma condition and to have an improved quality of life, this campaign will continue to spread more light to Malaysians suffering from this condition.

  1. Asthma and Lung UK. What is severe asthma? Available on:
  2. Asthma Allergy Foundation America. Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know. Available on:
  3. Asthma Allergy Foundation America. Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know. Available on:
  4. American Lung Association, Severe Asthma. Available at:
  5. National Library of Medicine, USA. Severe asthma in the era of COVID-19: A narrative review. Available at:
  6. Temple Health. Asthma Treatment Options. Available at:
  7. National Library of Medicine, USA. Management of asthma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic: pathophysiological considerations to address the challenges. Available at: