World Asthma Day

5th May 2021 is World Asthma Day, an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. Their focus this year is on uncovering misconceptions around asthma. Find out more at www.ginasthma.org/wad.

Unfortunately, the UK continues to have high rates of asthma deaths and hospital admission. One of the factors we know is important is ensuring that patients know when and how to use their inhalers. This is one of the areas which is covered is your annual asthma review at the practice. Asthma UK also have videos on how to use your inhaler correctly.

As part of the NHS’ wider commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, GPs are being asked to consider switching patients to more environmentally friendly inhalers. Metered dose inhalers contain aerosols which are powerful greenhouse gases. For example, a single Ventolin inhaler has a carbon footprint equivalent to driving from London to Sheffield. Dry powder inhalers do not contain greenhouse gases and are therefore more environmentally friendly.

At your next asthma or medication review the GP or asthma nurse may discuss switching to a greener inhaler if this is a suitable option for you. For more information, please see the NICE Patient decision aid on selecting an appropriate inhaler and the Green Inhaler website.