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1 February 2018
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Looking at the annual survey from Asthma UK

Every 10 seconds, someone has an asthma attack. Asthma affects the lives of 5.4 million people across the UK. It can have a huge impact on people’s lives.

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Every year, Asthma UK run an Annual Survey to find out about your experiences of living with asthma and the quality of care you receive. Their report for 2017 highlighted that, although basic care has improved, two thirds of people are still not receiving basic care for their asthma. Basic care involves an annual asthma review, an asthma action plan and an inhaler technique check. They also discovered that the levels of care differ greatly depending on your postcode and your age. They asked many varied questions about the level of control you have over your asthma, what triggers your asthma, which health technology you use, whether you had needed emergency hospital care and if so what did your secondary care involve.

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How do you know if your asthma is out of control?

The number of people reporting having difficulty controlling their asthma has steadily increased over the last few years. More of you have reported that your asthma symptoms are making it difficult to sleep, that asthma interferes with your normal activities of daily living or you have experienced unusual symptoms. If this is you Asthma UK recommend you attend your surgery for an asthma review.

What triggers your asthma?

Everyone’s asthma is different and there are a huge range of possible triggers that can bring on your symptoms. Dust, cigarette smoke or pollen for example but colds and flu were the ones most widely reported. Asthma UK have pages of useful advice on how to stay well this winter. Tips such as remembering to wash your hands or have your flu jab. Their recent #Scarfie campaign was a big hit, a simple idea that could people avoid life threatening asthma attacks.

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Questions about health technology

These were new to this years survey. Technology such as online GP booking to wearable devices. They found that many of you were using general health apps and some asthma specific apps, for some they have become an integral part of you daily routine, helping you manage your symptoms as well as your general health for others perhaps not. They believe that asthma specific technology has a significant role to play in the future management of asthma and are working to ensure that the patient is at the heart of those designed.

Attending hospital

Every 8 minutes someone with Asthma is admitted to A&E in the UK. Less than a third of those who responded reported that they received the appropriate follow up care. They were able to highlight a link between the levels of uncontrolled asthma and they rates of hospitalisation and ask the question would improving these statistics reduce the level of hospital attendance?

This is just a snapshot of their comprehensive report which you can read in full here Asthma UK Annual Survey 2017.

Emergency

Levels of asthma care varies widely across the country and across the age ranges. People with asthma age 18-29 receive the lowest level while those age 70-79 receive the highest. We receive calls on a daily basis from those of you who are struggling with your breathing and hope a nebuliser may be the answer. Although we have customers with severe asthma who do nebulise, if you have asthma you are unlikely to be offered a nebuliser for routine use. Most people with asthma don’t need to use a nebuliser routinely. The latest research shows that using a reliever inhaler with a spacer is easier and just as effective for treating mild to moderate asthma. Maybe now is the time to contact your GP and ask for an asthma review and action plan, or take a look at what advice Asthma U.K has to offer.

Photo credits: Jakob, Andres Urena, pixabay.com