The numbers are shocking: a single individual is dying from an asthma attack in Ireland every five times, as shown by the Asthma Society of Ireland.
Leading physicians insist 90pc of those deaths could be avoided by managing asthma properly. Ireland has the fourth-highest rate of asthma incidence from the world and approximately 470,000 individuals in this nation suffer from the illness.
‘Out of 470,000 who are suffering from asthma, 60pc have poorly controlled asthma,’ says Dr Muhammad Tariq, a consultant paediatrician with respiratory and allergies interest at Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise.
‘People who have asthma typical ten days off sick from work Each Year and kids miss about 12 days of school per annum due to asthma.’
‘We do not know precisely what the motive is in Ireland,’ Dr Tariq explains.
‘An audit was carried out in Britain lately, and also the NRAD report discovered that all those men and women who died from asthma didn’t have an asthma action plan and second, they relied upon their gloomy inhaler — that the reliever inhaler that is Ventolin or Salbutamol.
Additionally, they weren’t adherent to utilising their inhaled corticosteroid that’s either brown, purple or orange.
‘Many people are visiting A&E with allergies, but additionally, numerous people are visiting their GP or their physicians to repeat prescriptions of gloomy inhalers so if a person is doing so too frequently that itself is a red flag that caregivers will need to pick upon.
Included in Asthma Awareness Week, the Asthma Society of Ireland is calling both victims and their physicians to make sure that every individual has an asthma action plan set up.
And since a paediatrician, Dr Tariq considers it is essential that parents instil in their children the value of regularly carrying their preventative inhaler.
‘The prevalence of doctor-diagnosed asthma in Ireland is around 21.5pc in children and around 10 per cent in adults,’ Dr Tariq states.
‘The Irish Thoracic Society a year ago called for the institution of a nationwide respiratory task force to deal with the increasing tide of respiratory ailments in Ireland. There are a total of 11 frequent respiratory diseases that they wish to asthma and address is just one of these.
‘There are just four distinct colour codes: if you’re in the green zone your asthma is well controlled, should you proceed into the orange zone, asthma is becoming out of hands, and you want to stick to the asthma action plan according to your health care practitioner.
As the reason Ireland has such an incidence of asthma is unknown, but that can be possibly associated with both genetics and environmental factors like change in dietary pattern, change in lifestyle and viral diseases.
The illness also has connections with eczema and allergies as well as the message both physicians and the Asthma Society of Ireland wish to get across this week is the fact that it’s critical for kids and adults that are diagnosed with carrying inhalers equally regularly.
Dr Tariq states:’People who take the blue inhaler see the immediate response and then think they are OK, but this is not the case as they are merely using a bronchodilator.
‘I predict this ICE — I for inhaler process, C for compliance and E to get exacerbating variables’
For Limerick woman Niamh O’Halloran, following the asthma action plan is essential.
Niamh, who is a vendor manager, is married with one daughter. ‘I had been diagnosed in 1994. My symptoms originally were hayfever. This was a great summer, and I got what I thought was a summertime cold, but it was hayfever,”’ she says. ‘I got a few over-the-counter antihistamines however I woke up one morning and could not breathe, so I ended up in the hospital. It was quite difficult to stabilise because it had been the very first attack I had. Therefore it was challenging to get it under control.’
Since then, Niamh has been managing her condition.
‘I take drugs daily, and it requires tracking to keep it under control and keep it manageable. I follow my strategy, and I understand when I am stepping away from the norm for my asthma, and once I must acquire additional care. And that’s the life I have had since then. Pollen disturbs me, it affects my asthma, and when the pollen count is high, I must measure it up with handling the status. My lungs get feeble when I am wrong so that my oxygen levels fall and I do not feel that the very best.
‘I have to make sure I don’t go out in the evening walking, and I stay indoors when the pollen count is at its highest. I dread the summer months; I prefer the winter,’ she admits.
‘Some of the medication has horrible side effects; you can gain weight, you can develop problems with your bones due to lack of vitamin D — I go for a Dexa scan every couple of years to make sure mine are okay. And I have cataracts in both my eyes because of long-term steroid use. But if you want to get your asthma under control, you have to take your medication
‘I could not have a day where I did not take my medicine as I would not subsequently be in a position to do precisely what I do. The advantages of being around medicine outweigh the adverse effects.
‘My daughter is nine in July, and she has been diagnosed with asthma too, but thankfully her form of the condition is milder than mine.’
470,000 Irish Individuals have asthma, such as one in five kids
Uncontrolled asthma is harmful — each 26 minutes somebody in Ireland visits an Emergency Department with allergies
Asthma costs the state over $500 million annually
Children miss 12 days of school annually, and adults overlook ten workdays a year Because of Their asthma
1. Stay calm. Sit upright — don’t lie down.
2. Take slow, steady breaths.
3. Require one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every moment.
Use a spacer when accessible.
Individuals over six years may take up to ten puffs within 10 minutes. Kids under six may take around six puffs within 10 minutes.
4. Telephone 112 or 999 if your symptoms don’t improve after 10 minutes.
5. Repeat steps three when an ambulance hasn’t arrived in 10 minutes. Bear in mind, if someone is experiencing an asthma attack?
You might also want to read The Symptoms of Asthma