Asthma must not be neglected, warns Asthma UK

About 40% of asthma sufferers in Northern Ireland are underestimating the seriousness of their condition and the risk of having a potentially fatal attack, according to Asthma UK. According to the charity, 182,000 people in Northern Ireland suffer from asthma, and every year more than 20 people in Northern Ireland die from asthma while more than 1,700 people are hospitalised.

Joan O’Hagan, director of Asthma UK Northern Ireland, said: “It’s extremely worrying that many people with asthma in Northern Ireland do not realise their own risk of ending up in hospital.” The charity says asthma attacks and hospital admissions could be prevented if people took their medication and had regular consultations with their GP or asthma nurse.

Speaking on World Asthma Day, sufferer Steven-James Stothers, 23, told the BBC there was not enough awareness of the risks associated with the condition. “During my late teenage years I rebelled against taking my medication because I wanted to fit in with my friends,” he said.

“Throughout that time I was in hospital at least once a month after having an attack but then I realised I needed my inhalers to keep healthy. I’d encourage everyone with asthma to avoid attacks, because having one is one of the most frightening experiences you can have.”

Asthma UK Northern Ireland said people with asthma could find out their risk of having an attack by taking the Triple A Test, which assesses the factors linked to an increased or highly increased risk of an asthma attack.

Medical Specialists Pharmacy provides online consultations for asthma sufferers and so can help you to control your asthma and provide both blue (relievers) inhalers such as Ventolin and Salbutamol, and brown (preventers) inhalers such as Qvar Beclomethasone, Qvar Easi-Breathe, and Pulvinal Beclomethasone.

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