Asthma sufferers unaware of their condition

Asthma sufferers unaware of their condition

Asthma sufferers are often the first people to note how important their medication is when symptoms arise sporadically. Without the proper medication people can experience negative situations such as breathlessness at work which could lead to a more severe injury or their work performance could be affected. Recent developments have identified that along with taking medication another key factor for asthma aggravation is exposure to allergens.

464 asthma patients were surveyed by Allergy UK to identify common traits regarding asthma and medication. Asthma sufferers have varied forms of medication however more than 75% of the patients in the survey use up to one asthma inhaler each week. One inhaler should last a month if their asthma is under control.

In the UK a minimum of 200 people are hospitalised daily due to their asthma. According to the survey, half of the group still suffered from breathlessness and wheezing despite the proper use of their medication. This leads to recent developments in which professionals are now questioning whether the original diagnosis was accurate enough to prescribe the individuals current medication.

Lindsey McManus, Deputy CEO of Allergy UK commented with the following “Asthma is a killer, with three people dying of it ever day in the UK. 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”.

What is the Cause

Asthma as a condition involves the constriction of the airways leading to breathing problems such as shortness of breath and wheezing. In the survey it is noted that 60 per cent of asthma is triggered by allergens, these include dust, pollen, foods, dampness and moulds. The allergens affect the airway which then leads to the individual’s asthma becoming more aggressive. When someone is initially diagnosed with asthma it is common practice for the individual to also have an allergy test to identify which specific allergens can be medicated against. However only one third of the people surveyed had been allergy tested.

The lack of accurate awareness regarding asthma has led to one in six people who suffer from the condition taking six or more days off work or education in the past 12 months. This relates to people “putting up” with their asthma symptoms instead of investigating why the symptoms have become worse. In most cases the introduction to a new environment or substance is often the cause of more aggressive breathing issues.

Warning Signs

One of the main issues addressed in the survey is the lack of information which asthma patients have been provided with by their health professional. This leads to symptoms being ignored and medication being used more than required amounts. Dr Monica Nordstrom who is the Respiratory Physician at the NHS Foundation Trust commented with the following “There are three warning signs for patients to look out for; if you use more than one reliever inhaler a month; if you’ve been prescribed one or more courses of oral corticosteroids in the past 12 months or if you are consistently missing wok or school because of your asthma- these can all be signs that your asthma may be more severe than you think and you should seek more help from your doctor or specialist nurse”.

At Roberts Jackson we help people who suffer asthma as a result of their working environment gain the compensation they deserve. If you or anyone you know has or is suffering Occupational Asthma symptoms as a result of their work then please contact us using the enquiry box on the right of this page. Alternatively you can call us on our free phone number 0808 159 7441.

[1] “Three in four asthmatics ‘at risk from fatal attack because they wrongly believe they have the condition under control” Jenny Hope, Daily Mail Online,
[2] “GPs urged to test all asthma patients for allergies to reduce attacks” David Millett, GP,

[3] “Asthma Sufferers Put Themselves ‘At Risk’ By Failing To Get Condition ‘Under Control” The Huffington Post UK,