Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, says: "With reports of extreme cold weather due over the next few days it is vital that the 1 in 11 people with asthma in the UK are prepared. Three quarters of people with asthma find that cold air makes their asthma worse, putting them at an increased risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.
"There is a peak in asthma deaths every January in England and Wales; however people with asthma have told us that they have thought twice about going to hospital or their GP in the last 4 weeks, despite knowing they needed specialist treatment.
"Nobody having an asthma attack who needs emergency treatment should be anxious about going to A&E. According to the National Review of Asthma Deaths, 45% of those who died from an asthma attack did so without seeking medical assistance or before emergency medical care could be provided. Tragically three people die every day because of asthma attacks, and two of these deaths are preventable, so it’s absolutely crucial people with asthma seek medical assistance for asthma attacks and that their condition is taken seriously."
It is thought that over five million people in the UK have asthma. The charity advises that, in the current cold conditions, people with asthma should:
· Wrap up warm
· Carry their reliever inhaler with them at all times
· Keep taking their regular preventer inhaler as prescribed by their doctor.
· Speak to their pharmacist or GP to ensure they are using their inhaler correctly.
· Call Asthma UK’s Helpline if they have any concerns about their asthma on 0800 121 62 44.