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ASTHMA/COPD

You can review your asthma online using our form. Once you have submitted the form, it will be reviewed by our admin team. Based on your score, it may be necessary for you to come in for an appointment. Please click here to view and fill out an online request form.

FAQs for ASTHMA INVITE

Why have I been invited in for an asthma review?

We are running a project to improve the asthma control of our patients at the practice. To achieve this, we have identified patients who have requested >6 blue inhalers (salbutamol inhalers) in the last 1 year. The reason for this is that we know that using a blue inhaler regularly, > 3 x per week, can be a sign of poor asthma control and is linked with a higher risk of having an asthma attack. We would like to see you for a review to assess whether we can adjust your asthma regime in order to improve your symptoms and reduce your risk of having an attack.

If your asthma is poorly controlled it is not your fault but there may be things we can do together to improve it.

I’ve had a review within the last year, why do I need to come in again?

Even if you had an asthma review within the last year, we would still like to see you. This is because new information and guidance is always coming out about what good asthma control looks like and how to manage it. This asthma review may be a little different to those you have had before.

What does good or bad asthma control look like?

In general, good asthma control is where people have no day or night time symptoms, are not needing to use their blue inhaler, and can exercise freely without getting a wheeze or needing to use their blue inhaler. Poor asthma control is defined as needing to use the blue inhaler roughly three or more times per week, or having symptoms when you exercise. This video explains more about asthma.

Why is it a problem if I have poor asthma control?

Poor asthma control can raise your risk of having an asthma attack, which can lead to needing steroid tablets or hospital treatment. In some rare cases, people can even die from asthma attacks, which is why we take this condition so seriously. We also know that people with long-term poorly controlled asthma can end up with scarring of their airways which becomes harder to treat in the future.

What do the different inhaler medications do?

The steroid inhaler (often brown, but may be a different colour or may be part of a combination inhaler), helps to reduce the underlying inflammation in your airways which causes asthma. This is your main asthma treatment and helps to keep the condition under control.

The blue salbutamol inhaler is for use during an asthma attack for an immediate temporary effect.

You may not be given one of these if we decide that it is best for you to use a combination inhaler when you have an asthma attack too. These inhalers usually contain a rescue medication similar to the blue inhaler as well as an inhaled steroid.

What will be done in the review? Who will I see?

The review will be with either one of our doctors, our pharmacist or our practice nurses who are all trained in asthma reviews.

We will ask you about your asthma symptoms, inhalers regime, and technique and make decisions with you about the best course of treatment and whether any changes are needed. This may involve

changing the type of inhaler device, inhaler dose, or just advising you about the best technique to use the inhalers you currently have.

In some cases, we may give you tablet medications in addition to your inhaler, or refer you to see a chest specialist if we think your asthma is severe and poorly controlled despite being on the maximum treatment we can provide in primary care.

We will not stop any of your inhalers without discussing this with you first.

Is this related to the carbon footprint of inhalers?

There are two main types of device for asthma inhalers, one which has a propellant containing a greenhouse gas and one which does not. This video explains the device types. The different asthma medications come in a range of brands in both types of device. We will assess which type of inhaler device is best for you, based on your inhaler technique. We do also consider the environmental impact but will make sure the inhaler that is best for you is our main priority.

What do I need to do before the appointment?

Please fill in the Asthma Control Test questionnaire we send you before the consultation in advance. This helps us to understand your current symptoms and gives us more time during the appointment to focus on developing a plan.

Please also bring your inhalers with you to the consultation, and your personalised asthma plan if you have one.

I haven’t been invited in but I am concerned about my asthma or would like a review.

Please contact the practice and we would be happy to see you any time if you have concerns about your asthma control or would like to discuss the environmental impact of your inhaler.

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