Two Thirds Of People With Asthma In Tipperary Are Not Using Their Inhaler Correctly Putting Them At Risk Of A Potentially Fatal Asthma Attack

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, the Asthma Society of Ireland and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) have launched an ‘Inhaler Technique’ awareness campaign to encourage people with asthma to ensure that they are using their inhaler device correctly. Two out of three of Tipperary’s 15,337 people with asthma may be unknowingly aggravating their condition simply by not using their inhalers correctly.   Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said:More than one person dies every week in Ireland from asthma and 90% of these deaths are preventable. It is estimated that over half of people with asthma in Ireland are not consistently using their device correctly – leading to only a partial delivery of medication and poor symptom control.
Two Thirds Of People With Asthma In Tipperary Are Not Using Their Inhaler Correctly Putting Them At Risk Of A Potentially Fatal Asthma Attack

Daragh Connolly, President Irish Pharmacy Union and Sarah O’Connor CEO The Asthmsa Society of Ireland, at the Mansion House ‘Get it Right – Get it Cheked’ inhaler launch.
Picture Colm Mahady / Fennells – Copyright© Fennell Photography 2019.

Many people with asthma may not be aware that poor inhaler technique could be making their condition worse. We have a range of asthma technique videos available on – covering every device available on the Irish market. We also have videos showing people with asthma how to use their spacer, if their inhaler requires one. We encourage both people with asthma and healthcare professionals to use to ensure these videos to keep their inhaler technique is correct. This can make a huge difference to safely managing asthma and living a full life symptom free.”   The Irish Pharmacy Union is supporting the campaign through their 1,750 member pharmacies across Ireland. Throughout the month of March all IPU pharmacies will be offering free inhaler technique advice to their customers.   Daragh Connolly, President of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), said, “Pharmacists, as healthcare professionals, are ideally positioned to provide advice and assistance to people with asthma to help them gain control over their condition. Having the correct inhaler technique is absolutely essential for those who have asthma to get the most out of their medicines and pharmacists are available to provide the support and advice necessary to ensure that this happens. We would encourage people with asthma to bring their inhalers to their local pharmacy and the pharmacist will be able to provide them with the practical advice they need for using their inhalers properly. Ireland has the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world; one in adults and one in five children have the disease. Inhalers are one of the most common devices used to treat asthma yet research shows as many as 2 in 3 people may be using their inhaler incorrectly.[i] However, when taught the correct technique, people are able to use their inhalers more effectively with substantial benefits for their asthma control and overall health. People with asthma are advised to have the inhaler technique checked by a healthcare professional at every opportunity.   For anyone who needs advice on managing their asthma or if they are a carer for someone with asthma, the Asthma Society runs a free Joint Asthma & COPD Adviceline which users can call on 1800 44 54 64 to speak to a respiratory nurse who can help you manage your asthma and COPD.     Help and advice on correct inhaler technique is available from your pharmacist or you can visit the Asthma Society of Ireland’s website –   About the Asthma Society of Ireland: The Asthma Society of Ireland is the national charity dedicated to empowering Ireland’s 470,000 people with asthma to take control of their asthma by providing them and their families with information, education, services and support. They are focused on representing people with asthma and working to improve their health outcomes.   About the Joint Asthma & COPD Adviceline: The Asthma Adviceline is available at 1800 44 54 64.   The COPD Adviceline is available at 1800 83 21 46.   The Adviceline is proven to have a truly positive impact on people with asthma, with appointments tailored to the needs of each caller. The Adviceline respiratory specialist nurses work through every aspect of life with asthma: what to do in the event of an asthma attack, answering questions after a GP or consultant appointment, dealing with triggers that may be bringing on asthma symptoms, and helping users put together an Asthma Action Plan to self-manage their condition. After speaking to one of the adviceline nurses, users will be fully equipped with the information and skills they need to improve their health and stay as well as possible   Callers can book a free call back appointment by calling the free phone number between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday. The Asthma Society facilitates a call back from the nurse at a time that suits the patient.   In 2016, the Asthma/COPD Adviceline was awarded an independent quality mark by the Helplines Partnership, one of only three helplines in Ireland to have achieved this standard.   About the Irish Pharmacy Union The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is the representative and professional body for community pharmacists.   Members of the IPU aim to provide the best possible professional pharmacy service to all members of the public. Community pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals. Last year, there were nearly 79 million visits to community pharmacy outlets or 18 visits per annum per man, woman and child in the State. This provides an unprecedented level of access to the general public, providing the pharmacy sector with an opportunity to significantly expand our role to the benefit of both patient and State.   About Asthma Asthma is an inflammatory disease of varying severity that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry the air in and out of the lungs. People with asthma have airways that are extra sensitive to substances (or triggers), which irritate them. Common triggers include cold and flu, cigarette smoke, exercise and animals.   When the airways come into contact with an asthma trigger, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower. The lining of the airways swell and produce sticky mucus. As the airways narrow, it becomes difficult for the air to move in and out. That is why people with asthma wheeze and find breathing difficult.   Whilst there is no cure, asthma can be controlled by avoiding triggers and by the use of ‘reliever’ and ‘controller’ medication. Relievers are medicines that people with asthma take immediately when asthma symptoms appear. Controllers help calm the airways and stop them from being so sensitive. Talk to your GP or asthma nurse about which treatment is most suitable for you. All patients with asthma are also advised to have a tailored asthma action plan, a crucial part of patient self-management, which helps patients control their asthma.     [i] V G Press et al, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Misuse of Respiratory Inhalers in Hospitalized Patients with Asthma or COPD, June 2011, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 635-642  

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