World Asthma Day – May 2022

World Asthma Day
LLB (Hons) & LPC Annabel Chadwick
Written by: Annabel Chadwick Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Annabel Chadwick Updated: In: Industrial Disease

Every year, on the first Tuesday of May, the world celebrates World Asthma Day. This year World Asthma Day fell on the 3rd of May.

Asthma is a serious and chronic condition affecting people’s ability to breathe by causing their lungs’ air passages to narrow. Approximately 5.4 million people are living in the UK with asthma (1.1m children and 4.3m adults). Additionally, according to estimations, 4 people every day die because of an asthma attack.

What is World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day aims to raise awareness of the disease across the world. It is organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). This organisation operates within the World Health Organisation. The theme for this year is “Closing the Gaps in Asthma Care”.

This topic covers various areas in which there are gaps in the care that people receive and different people’s knowledge of the disease. This includes;

  • Asthma knowledge between healthcare providers. This can vary widely depending upon the healthcare providers’ role, the training received and the exposure and experience they have in treating those with asthma. This means that asthmatics may receive a different level of care depending upon which health care provider they see.
  • Asthma management and medication prescription. Similarly, this can vary depending on who is assisting with the patient’s asthma management. The asthma management plan may impact what medication the patient is prescribed.
  • Equal access to medical advice and/or treatment. The readiness for healthcare and medication will depend upon the patient’s location. What is available in some communities may not be available in others.
  • The wider perception of the disease and education that this is a chronic disease. There may be a misconception that asthma is not a chronic disease which leads to an underassessment of its severity and potentially under-treatment.
  • The disparity in treatment based on social-economic groupings, population and age. These factors may influence one’s likelihood to seek out treatment/advice, the availability of medical advice and what treatment is available.

There are various activities held on World Asthma Day which include screening for asthma, media coverage and educational events all to raise awareness of this disease.

Managing your Asthma

Some easy ways to manage your asthma are;

  • Firstly, follow your asthma management plan and keep this updated with regular check-ups with your GP/Asthma nurse
  • Next, ensure you have an adequate inhaler technique to make sure you are getting the most from your medication
  • Additionally, consider what you believe may exacerbate your asthma such as allergies, workplace exposures or exercise and plan your asthma management around this
  • Finally, be aware of the signs of an asthma exacerbation and/or attack and keep your medication with you.
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