The Asthma Society of Ireland and Irish Pharmacy Union launch Campaign encouraging people with asthma to get their inhaler technique checked. Not using inhalers correctly results in poor symptom control and a worsening in conditions.
Two out of three of Ireland’s 470,000 people with asthma may be unknowingly aggravating their condition simply by not using their inhalers correctly. The Asthma Society of Ireland and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU ) have launched an inhaler technique awareness campaign to encourage people with asthma to check that they are using their inhaler device correctly. New inhaler technique videos have been created by the Asthma Society which are free to access on www.asthma.ie and all local pharmacies are offering a free inhaler checking service throughout the month of September.
Asthma is a chronic disease whose symptoms are alleviated by preventer medication and (emergency ) reliever medication, usually delivered through inhaler devices. However, it is estimated that over half of people with asthma in Ireland are not consistently using their device correctly – leading to only a partial delivery of medication and poor symptom control.
Mayo pharmacist Ultan Molloy said, “Pharmacists, as healthcare professionals, are ideally positioned to provide advice and assistance to people with asthma to help them gain control over their condition. Having the correct inhaler technique is absolutely essential for those who suffer from asthma to get the most out of their medicines, and pharmacists are available to provide the support and advice necessary to ensure that this happens. We would encourage people with asthma to bring their inhalers to their local pharmacy and the pharmacist will be able to provide them with the practical advice they need for using their inhalers properly.”
Sharon Cosgrove, Asthma Society of Ireland CEO, commenting on the campaign, said, “Many people with asthma may not be aware that poor inhaler technique could be making their condition worse. So we have created a range of information videos to help anyone in Ireland with asthma check that they are using their device correctly and getting the full benefit of it. With new types of inhalers having come onto the market, there is a real need for these videos which are short, easy to understand and we feel will be of real benefit to anyone with, or caring for someone with asthma.”
Ireland has the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world; one in 10 has the disease. Inhalers are one of the most common devices used to treat asthma yet research shows as many as two in three people may be using their inhaler incorrectly. However, when taught the correct technique people are able to use their inhalers more effectively with benefits for their asthma control and overall health. Asthma sufferers are advised to have the inhaler technique checked by a healthcare professional at every opportunity.