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Asthma patients 'put themselves at risk'

MANY asthma sufferers are putting themselves at risk by relieving their symptoms instead of really taking control of their condition, a charity has warned.

Allergy UK raised concerns that many who believe that their asthma is mild or moderate are not taking necessary precautions to keep their condition in check. The comments come after Allergy UK found 78 per cent of 464 sufferers who think their condition is mild or moderate use up to four inhalers each month.

The charity said sufferers should not need to use even one a month if their disease is well controlled.

Meanwhile 15 per cent of mild or moderate sufferers said they had attended the emergency department in the last year due to their asthma. And nearly half said they had been prescribed oral steroids in the past year - but Allergy UK said using this level of medication means the condition isn't under control as it should only be for emergencies.

"Asthma is a killer, with three people dying of it every day in the UK," said Allergy UK's deputy chief executive Lindsey McManus.

"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.

"They just don't realise they are putting themselves in danger."

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