Asthma Sufferers Put Themselves 'At Risk' By Failing To Get Condition 'Under Control'

With 5.4 million asthma sufferers in the UK (that's one in every five households), chances are everyone knows somebody with the condition.

But despite it being somewhat common, many sufferers are putting themselves at risk by relieving their symptoms instead of really taking control of their condition, a charity has warned.

Allergy UK raised concerns that that many who believe that their asthma is mild or moderate are not taking necessary precautions to keep their condition in check.

The comments come after a small poll conducted by Allergy UK found that 78% of 464 sufferers who think their condition is mild or moderate use up to four reliever inhalers each month.

The charity said that in reality sufferers shouldn't even need to use one a month if their disease is well controlled.

Meanwhile 15% of mild or moderate sufferers said they had attended the emergency department in the last year due to their asthma.

And nearly half said they had been prescribed oral steroids in the past year - but Allergy UK said that using this level of medication means the condition isn't under control as it should only be used in an emergency or in the most severe asthma cases.

"Asthma is a killer, with three people dying of it every day in the UK," said Allergy UK's deputy chief executive Lindsey McManus.

"These shocking survey results reflect what we hear time and time again from the people that call our helpline. People put up with their asthma symptoms and continue to use medication that isn't treating the inflammation, rather than seeking help to get their asthma under control.

"They just don't realise they are putting themselves in danger and could soon find themselves in A&E."

According to Asthma UK, an estimated 75% of hospital admissions for asthma are avoidable and as many as 90% of the deaths from asthma (there were 1,167 in 2011, alone) are preventable.