Open Airways Report
Asthma sufferers not under control’
Most Bermudians with asthma do not have the condition under control, a charity has warned.
A survey conducted by Open Airways this year found that 70 per cent of people had “poorly controlled asthma”.
The report said: “The results clearly indicate that the perception of asthma control and the reality of asthma control are vastly different.
“Many people do not fully understand what good asthma control looks like and are living with asthma symptoms on a weekly basis.
“The results have indicated a clear need for more education to the public on what asthma control should be.”
A total of 279 people of all ages with asthma completed the online survey in February and March.
Participants were asked to define their asthma as either well controlled, partially controlled or uncontrolled.
A total of 174 people thought their asthma was well controlled, 95 felt it was partially controlled, and ten felt it was uncontrolled.
The survey found that of the 174 people who said they had their symptoms well controlled, 53 people — or 30 per cent — had asthma symptoms in the week before they completed the survey.
A total of 76 people — or 80 per cent — of the 95 people who said their asthma was partially controlled had symptoms in the week before they were quizzed.
All ten of those who said their asthma was uncontrolled had symptoms in the week before they took the survey.
The survey also asked participants about emergency room visits caused by asthma and about the daily prevention measures they took to help control their asthma.
The report said: “From our survey we could see that many people were not using prevention daily and we wanted to know what their beliefs were related to daily prevention.”
A total of 103 people said that they did not believe it was necessary to use their inhalers if they felt well, but 44 people from the group — or 43 per cent — experienced asthma symptoms more than twice in the week before they took the survey.
And 24 people from the survey group said that they had also been to the emergency room in the last year.
Of the 45 people who said they sometimes forgot to use daily prevention, 31 people — or 69 per cent — had asthma symptoms more than twice in the week before they completed the survey, and 12 had been to the emergency room in the past year.
Of the 279 survey participants, 74 had taken up to two days off work or school due to asthma, 12 had missed up to five days, one person had missed up to ten days, and one person had missed more than ten days.
The report said that asthma was the chief cause of emergency room visits in Bermuda, with almost four each day.
It is estimated that one in five children and one in ten adults in Bermuda is affected by asthma — a total of about 8,000 people.
• To view the Open Airways report, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”
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