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Asthma sufferers failing to get regular check-ups E-mail
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Written by Anna Selner   

Asthma can be a major health risk without proper treatment, yet a new study by Lloyds Online Pharmacy has revealed that a worrying number of people are not taking the condition seriously enough. A survey of over 1,000 people revealed that nearly one in five asthma sufferers have not had a check-up in over a year.

Meanwhile, nearly a third admitted to using an inhaler prescribed for somebody else, and 36 per cent said they use an out-of-date inhaler. The figures are even more concerning for the younger age brackets, with 54 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds saying they do not have check-ups as regularly as they should.

Some 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma, according to NHS figures, equating to one in 12 adults and one in 11 children. While the condition is usually not serious as long as it is managed properly, asthma needs to be frequently monitored and evaluated by doctors to ensure it is not getting worse and that patients are taking the correct prescription.

Professor Neil Barnes, a leading asthma expert at the London NHS Trust, said of the research: "People need to be better educated about the risks of not managing their condition properly and health professionals are well placed to help improve people's self-management skills. I have overseen a number of clinical trials, which have demonstrated how effective asthma control can help people but unfortunately in daily life this doesn't translate and many people often fail to control their condition effectively."

Alison Freemantle, asthma expert at LloydsPharmacy, added: "Our experience shows that the majority of people with asthma believe they're managing their condition, but the reality is they’re not. Wrong inhaler technique is a very common problem - if the medication isn't reaching your lungs but is accumulating at the back of the throat, then it won't be doing its job properly and can potentially put you at risk of an attack.

"Having an asthma check-up, which includes an inhaler technique check, will assess how well you're controlling your asthma."

According to the charity Asthma UK, there are two main types of asthma medicine: relievers and preventers. Reliever medicine usually comes in a blue inhaler and should be taken when symptoms such as wheezing and coughing occur. If you need to use a relieve three or four times a week or more, it is recommended that you consult your doctor and have your prescription reviewed, as the medicine can become less effective if you use it regularly over a long time period.

Meanwhile, preventer inhalers usually come in red, brown or orange, and reduce the risk of severe attacks by controlling the swelling and inflammation of airways. They need to be taken usually twice a day, even when you are feeling well. Other forms of asthma medicine include preventer tablets and combination inhalers - if you think you may need these to control your condition, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Asthma sufferers failing to get regular check-ups
Asthma can be a major health risk without proper treatment, yet a new study by Lloyds Online Pharmacy has revealed that a worrying number of people are not taking the condition seriously enough. A survey of...


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