Imagine being paralysed by fear as you struggle to breathe, unable to speak, unable to ask for help. That’s what an asthma attack feels like. Many people who have the condition believe that their asthma is well controlled but it is important to have regular reviews and so on World Asthma Day the respiratory nurses from Airedale NHS Foundation Trust will be at Morrison’s supermarket in Keighley on Tuesday 7 May from 1pm – 6.30pm, to offer advice, check asthma control and inhaler technique for adult asthmatic patients and remind people how important it is to have an asthma plan.
Asthma is a long-term condition of the airways which affects approximately 5.4 million people in the UK. Those with asthma have ‘sensitive’ airways that are inflamed and ready to react when they come into contact with something they don’t like. These reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated – making it difficult to breathe and leading to asthma symptoms, such as chest tightness, wheezing, or coughing.
Colette Scully, Community Respiratory Nurse Specialist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust explains:
“Sadly people are still dying from the condition every year because sufferers do not use their inhaler as prescribed or attend their annual asthma review at their GP practice. Having an asthma plan saves lives so if you don’t have one, we recommend that you see your practice nurse who can formulate a plan for you.
Anyone with asthma who is waking earlier than normal, has a cough during the day or night or is relying on their blue (salbutamol) reliever inhaler up to 3 times per week does not have good control and should see their practice nurse for a review.
“Patients should take their preventer inhaler everyday as prescribed even if they don’t have symptoms as this can prevent them from have a flare up of their asthma or symptoms day to day as the medication builds up over days, weeks and months to offer protection. Patients can also see their pharmacist for a discussion on the best affordable way to pay for their medication, such as a pre-payment prescription.
The reassuring fact is that most people with asthma who get the right treatment – and take it correctly – can manage their symptoms and get on with what they want to do in life.”