General Health Friday August 22, 2014

75% of Asthma Patients Ignorant of Deadly Attack Risk

Do you think your asthma is “under control?” Think again. Recently, you may have been told that your asthma attack was only mild or moderate. Here’s a question that will make you rethink that diagnosis - are asthma patients only suffering from mild asthma if they’ve attended A&E over the past year?

Asthma sufferers need to wake up

According to a new survey, 15% of moderate asthma patients have been rushed to A&E over the last 12 months, but still think their condition is controlled. These conditions don’t sound so moderate to me. If they are, I’d love to know what severe asthma is.

A staggering three quarters of asthma sufferers are unaware that they’re at risk of a fatal asthma attack, despite thinking their symptoms are under control. I don’t know about you, but if I had to be rushed to A&E for anything, I’d be frantically looking into why it happened. This doesn’t seem to be the case for many of the sufferers who took part in the survey.

You’re using too many reliever inhalers a month

Carried out by Allergy UK and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, the survey also found that 78% of sufferers who believe their condition is under control used up to 4 relievers a month. If their condition was well controlled, they shouldn’t even need one per month. It’s just scandalous that so many people casually live with asthma and believe going to A&E is part and parcel of having the disease.

If the research findings, which were based on 464 participants, were to be extrapolated across the 4 million people who have asthma in the UK, 2.7 million could be at risk.

Lindsey McManus, deputy chief executive office, called the results “shocking,” saying: “Asthma is a killer, with three people dying of it every day in the UK. People put up with their asthma symptoms and continue to use medication that isn’t treating the inflammation, rather than seeking help to get their asthma under control.”

Millions of people are taking huge risks

Current estimates put asthma related deaths at 1,000 a year. Considering only 10% (that’s one in 12 adults) of people in the UK suffer from asthma, that’s a pretty worrying number of deaths.

We all need to help put a stop to asthma related deaths. One common cause involves patients using their inhaler incorrectly. Although it may seem straightforward, many asthma sufferers get the steps wrong. Over time, they allow little mistakes to slip into the routine. Others complain that doctors never show them the steps at all. Watch here for a step-by-step guide provided by our partner Medical advisor, Doctor Hilary Jones, for using an asthma inhaler correctly. Without the correct technique, you can’t be sure the dose recommended by the doctor is the same one received in your lungs.

Also, most importantly, we need to start changing the widespread attitude that it’s “just” asthma. It’s really unhelpful to propagate this common myth because asthma has left several people housebound.

Health Express can deliver inhalers to your door in a matter of hours. Read more about the asthma treatments we have available.
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