Asthma Perceptions

I know that we’ve come out smelling of roses in the ethics survey this week, but our role in managing inhaler technique in asthma is under a cloud.
90 % or so of people with asthma don’t use their inhalers correctly, according to research released by the National Asthma Council.
I don’t believe that this statistic reflects well on the guardians of medicine in Australia – we, the Pharmacists.

We’ve all had the arrogant comments from various individuals about their ability or otherwise to use salbutamol.
In front of a group of others, it can be confronting, no matter how courteous your help might appear.

So, what’s the solution, based on the other statistic that incorrect technique increases your risk of hospitalization by 50%?

Step back, and grab the opportunity to strut the stage – after all “we care”.

Many of my older asthma people simply don’t have the strength or co-ordination skills to do the simple things well. What can we do for them?

This is a lung disease that can kill.
There are other aspects of asthma care that are interesting:

  • Controlled breathing like Buteyko increase asthma control. Yoga breathing exercises are also therapeutic.
  • Curcumin modulates inflammation and oxidative stress in the airways.
  • Magnesium improves short-term lung function.
  • Insufficient levels of vitamin D affect lung function and response to steroids.
  • A dairy elimination diet reduces asthma symptoms.
  • Lycopene-rich supplements and sulphoraphane-rich broccoli reduce asthma risk.
  • Fish oil relieves chronic inflammation.
  • French maritime pine park helps control allergic asthma.
  • Vitamin B6 improves asthma symptoms.

The age of patient empowerment has arrived, and we need to be part of that initiative to ensure that our patients value our engagement.

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