Brits still have a poor perception of asthma
Considering there are a staggering 5.4 million asthmatics in Britain, it could be assumed that the majority of us are pretty clued-up on the serious lung condition asthma. Unfortunately, the results of a new survey suggest this could be far from the truth. Research conducted by supermarket giant Asda showed that whilst 94% acknowledge asthma as a serious health condition, 1 in four respondents could not recognise key symptoms associated with asthma. In fact, 17% incorrectly believed blocked sinuses are a sign of the lung condition. An additional 15% of those surveyed simply thought feeling dizzy was asthma-related and 13% bizarrely assumed having itchy eyes was somehow a key symptom of asthma. In reality, the primary common symptoms of asthma are having a shortness of breath, wheezing (accompanied by a whistling sound), chest tightness/pain/pressure, coughing (especially at night or early in the morning). Sufferers usually find their symptoms to be particularly worse at night time, after exposure to cold air, exercise-induced, or brought-on by a reaction to an allergen – similar to hay fever sufferers. Other wrong assumptions held by Brits include thinking there is a permanent cure for the lifelong condition; incredibly a third of us believe this to be true. Moreover, 15% merely think that asthma is something that only ‘unfit’ people have. This is clearly untrue though and many are obviously forgetting the countless famous asthma sufferers who have reached the top of their field, such as the multimillionaire and recently retired footballer David Beckham and cyclist Laura Trott, who won gold at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games in the Team Pursuit and Omnium events. However, asthma attacks still cause around 1,140 deaths each year and a substantial number of those could have been avoided with more awareness about the condition and how to efficiently control it. Only 37% of Brits have a decent knowledge about asthma medication or can differentiate between the purpose of blue and brown inhalers. Unfortunately, this perhaps demonstrate a worrying lack of awareness about the fact a person’s asthma can be better controlled with regular and correct utilisation of brown preventer inhalers such as the commonly used Qvar Beclometasone and Easi-Breathe inhalers. Over time, the brown preventers are effective at reducing the need for blue inhalers – which are taken immediately to relieve asthma symptoms and essential in treating asthma attacks. Visit the ‘Asthma and Allergies’ area of the Medical Specialists Pharmacy website for a full list of all the preventer and reliever inhalers we provide for suitable patients. If you have already been prescribed an inhaler, have lost your inhaler, or run out and cannot get a prescription immediately, we are able to supply you an inhaler to help your asthma symptoms. You can undergo a quick and easy confidential online consultation with one of our GMC-registered Doctors and if suitable, they will write you a prescription which is passed to our in-house RPSGB–registered Pharmacists and dispensed to a location of your choice, all within just 24 hours!* *Allow extra time for overseas deliveries.