According to new research by Asthma UK, over a third of sufferers are at risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack.
A study of almost 25,000 people found that over half of respondents (55%) did not think they were vulnerable to a high-risk attack, however results reveal 93% are actually in danger.
Asthma kills three people every day, and someone is admitted to hospital with a potentially fatal asthma attack every seven minutes in the UK, yet asthma attacks and hospital admissions can be prevented by spotting and treating early warning signs.
Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, told Huffpost Lifestyle on World Asthma Day: ‘Despite the fact that over 5.4 million people in the UK have asthma there is still a lack of understanding of the condition, even amongst those who have it themselves."
Churchill points out that 75% of hospital admissions are preventable with better management and support.
Asthma UK are encouraging people with asthma to take The Triple A Test to help them find out their risk of having an attack and advise them what they can do to reduce it.
“If someone with asthma has never really fully understood their condition or discussed their symptoms in detail with their GP or asthma nurse they may not be aware of what increases their risk of having an asthma attack. This is why the Triple A Test is so important," says Churchill.
Ask if they have their reliever inhaler (usually blue) and where it is. You may need to get it out of their bag for them.
Encourage them to take one to two puffs of their reliever inhaler.
Make sure they are sitting up.
Encourage them to take slow and steady breaths.
Keep them calm and reassure them.
If they are still not feeling better after two minutes they can take two puffs of their reliever again and continue to do so every two minutes (up to a maximum of 10 puffs).
If they feel better, they should be OK to carry on with their day - but make sure they see a doctor as soon as possible (ideally the same day).
If at any time you are worried about them, call an ambulance.
If after 10 minutes they don't feel better and their inhaler doesn't seem to be helping them, then call an ambulance.
If the ambulance hasn't arrived after 10 minutes then the sufferer should repeat Step 6, until help arrives.