Asthma currently affects over 262 million worldwide1. While the condition is not curable, asthma can be effectively controlled and patients can still lead normal, fulfilling lives.
The Beat the Asthma Blues campaign was started to celebrate the achievements of people with asthma and their strength in overcoming asthma in small ways every day.
Starting from proper education and support in terms of managing their asthma symptoms, we believe asthma sufferers can live up to their potential and improve their quality of life.
For decades, the reliever inhaler has been the most used treatment for asthma as it provides quick relief when symptoms arise despite not treating the inflammation that causes asthma. However, the new guidance from the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) recommends that overusing the reliever inhaler is not a good way of long-term asthma control, especially when used alone.
Although there have seen drastic improvements in how asthma is managed over the past 30 years, all thanks to the increased use of preventer inhalers (inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)), many patients still over-rely on their reliever inhaler without realising that it may be doing more harm than good.
A 2020 survey of 414 of people living in Singapore we did in partnership with AstraZeneca2 found shocking results. Let’s explore the report together.
Misconceptions of the reliever inhaler
According to the survey, two-thirds of adults with asthma think the reliever inhaler is the best way to manage their asthma, with a whopping 39% saying that they relied on it to not worry about their asthma.
Shockingly, despite the distinct differences between the preventer inhaler and the reliever inhaler, around 3 in 10 people said they preferred the reliever inhaler over the preventer inhaler.
Asthma patients are not managing their asthma effectively
Interestingly enough, 14% of adults surveyed reported using their inhaler at least three or more times a week – a sign that their asthma is not well-managed. While almost half of the adults used their inhaler once or less a week, there is still a relatively significant number of people who may be over-reliant on their reliever inhaler.
This is not unique to Singapore and a similar picture of poor asthma management and reliever inhaler over-reliant is seen in Ireland3, the US4 and Australia5.
The Singapore survey also revealed that 33% of people with asthma felt that they would like more support and information from their doctor in regards to managing their asthma – highlighting a clear gap in knowledge that should be improved upon.
Are you relying too much on your blue reliever inhaler?
Through the survey results, it is clear that asthma has an astounding impact on the lives of patients regardless of their age – with negative effects on their sleep quality, activity levels, mental wellbeing and personal relationships. This is not including the economic burden placed on asthma sufferers and the need for frequent doctor visits.
Overusing the blue reliever inhalers could easily disguise or worsen your condition – the best solution is to work with a healthcare professional for good asthma control.
In Singapore, one-third of visits to the hospital for severe life-threatening asthma was due to patients relying solely on the reliever inhaler6. Don’t let that be you.