A new survey has indicated that around 75% of people who suffer with asthma are unaware that they are at risk of a fatal attack because they inaccurately believe that their condition is under control.
In the UK, there are around 5.4 million asthma sufferers, which is about one in every five households.
A charity has warned that although this is quite a common condition, many of those who suffer with it place themselves at risk by simply relieving their symptoms, rather than taking control of it. Allergy UK has voiced their concerns that many who think they are mild or moderate sufferers are not taking the necessary precaution to control their condition.
These comments come after a small poll which was undertaken by Allergy UK discovered that 78% of 464 asthma sufferers who are of the belief that their condition is mild or moderate make use of up to four reliever inhalers per month.
According to the charity, if the condition is controlled, it will not be necessary to use even use one a month.
Around 15% of those who suffer mild or moderate asthma stated that they had to go to the emergency department during the past 12 months for their condition.
Almost 50% stated that they had received a prescription for oral steroids during the past 12 months. However, according to Allergy UK, the use of this level of medication indicates that the condition is not under control, as the prescription is only to be used in the most severe cases or in an emergency.
The deputy chief executive at Allergy UK, Lindsey McManus, revealed that asthma kills three people each day in the UK. She said that the results of the survey are a reflection of what their organisation hears constantly from people who call their helpline. She said people tolerate their symptoms and continue using medication which is not treating the inflammation, instead of obtaining aid to get their condition under control.
She added that they are simply not aware of the danger they place their lives in and this could result in them finding themselves in the A&E department of their local hospital.
Asthma UK stated that around 75% of the asthmatic hospital admissions could be avoided and around 90% of the asthmatic deaths, of which 1167 occurred during 2011, could be prevented.
Image Credit: Andrew Butitta