Some 60% of people with asthma in Ireland are not using their inhalers properly, which could be aggravating the condition, the Asthma Society of Ireland (ASI) has warned.
The society and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) have launched a new awareness campaign aimed at encouraging people to ensure that they are using their inhalers correctly.
There are 470,000 people with asthma in Ireland, however research suggests that almost two in three of these are not using their inhalers correctly.
"More than one person dies every week in Ireland from asthma and 90% of these deaths are preventable. 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," explained ASI chief executive, Sarah O'Connor.
She pointed out that many people with asthma may be unaware that poor inhaler technique could be making their condition worse.
"We have a range of asthma technique videos available here, covering every device available on the Irish market. We also have videos showing people with asthma how to use their spacer, if their inhaler requires one.
"We encourage both people with asthma and healthcare professionals to use this resource. This can make a huge difference to safely managing asthma and living a full life symptom free," Ms O'Connor said.
The campaign is supported by the IPU. Throughout this month, pharmacies nationwide are offering free inhaler technique advice to customers.
"Having the correct inhaler technique is absolutely essential for those who have 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," explained IPU president, Daragh Connolly.
For more information on using your inhaler properly, visit your pharmacist or click here. If you would like to speak to a respiratory nurse, call the Asthma and COPD Helpline on 1800 44 54 64.
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