Tuesday 1st May is World Asthma Day, an annual event run by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). This awareness day aims to improve coverage of asthma and how people with this health condition can best manage it.
It’s a great opportunity to talk about one of the most common medical problems that people suffer with – and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
So let’s start with exactly what asthma is. According to Asthma UK, a leading health charity, the most common asthma symptoms are: shortness of breath even when not exercising; chest tightness or pain; trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath or cough; whistling or wheezing when exhaling; and coughing or wheezing attacks.
Last year, Pharmacy Outlet commissioned an independent survey among more than 2,000 UK adults to find out just how widespread this issue was across the country. The research showed that the number of people suffering with the tell-tale asthma symptoms outlined above had doubled in the past five years – while just 6% of people said they experienced these problems in 2012, the figure stands at 12% today, representing 6.2 million people across the country affected by these issues.
There are many reasons why someone would develop asthma, and why this condition would flare up. Many of them are related to our lifestyle and the environment in which we live; for example, smoking, exercise habits, diets and air pollution can all cause people to suffer from breathing difficulties. Indeed, worsening air pollution has been cited as an increasingly important issue that must be addressed if we are to stop asthma affecting more and more people.
Ultimately, the important thing for people who suffer from the key symptoms above is to see a medical professional to find out if they are asthmatic. Thereafter, for those with asthma they must ensure they have the right medication – namely an in-date and working inhaler. What’s more, it is vital that people with asthma are confident that they are using their inhaler correctly.
For those who have asthma and therefore have a repeat prescription for inhalers or other treatments, the NHS’s Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is well placed to save them a lot of time and money. The EPS initiative, which is free to use, means that people across the UK can have their prescriptions delivered straight to their home – all they have to do is register with a certified EPS provider, such as Pharmacy Outlet, and they will no longer have to continuously travel between GP and pharmacy to collect the medication they require.
We have written lots on asthma, including its causes and the best way to manage it. So, for more information, be sure to have a look at the blogs below:
· What causes asthma?
· Are you using the correct inhaler technique?
· Travelling with asthma
· Need help managing your asthma medication – SIGN UP HERE for our hassle free repeat prescription service