Study: Overuse of inhaler increases risk of death in asthma sufferers

Asthma sufferers are being warned not to overuse their inhalers. A new study discovered that thousands of people are using over 12 inhalers per year.

The study, which was conducted by the Asthma Society of Ireland, also found that three in 10 are at risk of death from overuse.

Speaking about the findings, CEO with the Asthma Society of Ireland, Sarah O’ Connor said: "What we want is to move people to a point where they are taking the correct preventative treatment, where that means they don't experience symptoms on a day to day basis.

"So they don't experience things like shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, chest tightness, asthma attacks or really having to limit their life or their activity.”

One of the best ways to stave off an asthma attack is to avoid triggers as much as possible. While it is important to remember that everyone is different, the most common triggers include second-hand smoke, pets with fur or feathers, exercise, pollen and air quality.

If you do experience an asthma attack, follow this five step plan:

1.       Take two puffs of reliever inhaler (usually blue) immediately

2.       Sit upright and stay calm

3.       Take slow steady breaths

4.       If there is no improvement take one puff of reliever inhaler every minute

–          You can take up to 10 puffs in ten minutes

–          Children under 6 years can take up to 6 puffs in ten minutes

5.       Call 999 or 112 if symptoms do not improve after following steps 1-4 OR if you are worried.