Asthma: Information for Patients
To maintain good control of your asthma symptoms take your inhalers as prescribed and as advised by the doctor or asthma nurse.
You may be experiencing poor asthma control if:
- You have difficulty sleeping due to asthma symptoms
- You have asthma symptoms during the day
- Your asthma has interfered with your usual activities (school/work/housework etc)
- You are needing to take more reliever (blue inhaler) than normal
Asthma symptoms include:
If you are having increased symptoms or taking more reliever make an appointment for asthma clinic or with a doctor.
You are having an asthma attack if:
- You are not helped at all by your blue inhaler
- Your symptoms are becoming worse – even after taking inhalers
- You are too breathless to speak – CALL 999 for ambulance
WHAT TO DO IF YOU EXPERIENCE ASTHMA ATTACK
- Take your reliever inhaler (usually blue) as directed
- Sit down and try to take slow steady breaths
- If you do not start to feel better continue to take 2 puffs of your reliever (Blue inhaler) every 2 minutes. Take up to 10 puffs.
- If there is no improvement or you are worried CALL 999 for an ambulance
- If the ambulance does not arrive within 15 minutes repeat step 3 while you wait.
For further information on Asthma, including triggers, treatments, control and what to do in an asthma attack, visit the Asthma UK website: http://www.asthma.org.uk/
'Asthma is one of the most common conditions in the UK, affecting around one in five households. Three people die from asthma in the UK every day, but up to 90% of these deaths are preventable with the right support and management' (Asthma UK).
The Asthma Risk Test
Every 10 seconds someone in the UK has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack. Are you at risk?
Are you in control of your asthma? Or is your asthma in control of you? Research shows certain factors increase your risk of having an asthma attack. If your risk is raised, you're more likely to have an asthma attack if you come into contact with one of your triggers, whether that's cold air, dust or pollen. You can't always avoid triggers, but you can reduce your chances of having an asthma attack, even if you come into contact with a trigger.
National Guidance is to conduct an Asthma Control Test as part of an Asthma patient's annual review (BTS/SIGN, 2014).
Why take the Asthma Control Test?
The Asthma Control Test will provide you with a snapshot of how well your asthma has been controlled over the last four weeks. Asthma symptoms can vary from month to month, so it is worth keeping the test handy to see if your score changes. You can also share your results with your doctor or asthma nurse to help explain just how your asthma affects you. The test will use your answers to identify whether you're at highly increased risk, increased risk or no increased risk of an asthma attack.