#FitPH - Daily treatment: key to managing asthma, according to new study

According to the National and Health Nutrition Survey, 8.7% of Filipinos were judged to have asthma overall, based on wheezing for the previous 12 months. Additionally, over 13,000 people died from asthma in the nation in 2017, based on data from the WHO.

The daily use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or maintenance inhalers, according to this study by Professor Dave Singh, "New Versus Old: The Impact of Changing Patterns of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescribing and Dosing Regimens in Asthma Management," addresses both the overt and covert symptoms of asthma that patients experience, reducing the frequency and severity of their asthma attacks. Additionally, this addresses the issue of patients' tendencies to rely too much or too little on their prescribed medications.. 

An additional study shows that nearly 50% of asthma patients in Asia have uncontrolled asthma, despite the same research stating that over 80% of patients consider their asthma to be controlled.  

Consistency over complacency

“When it comes to asthma, poor patient perception is a serious risk. The belief that patients usually have is that their condition is not as serious as it actually is. When in reality, they are already experiencing underlying complications, such as airway inflammation, airway remodeling, decreased lung function, and bronchial hyperreactivity,” says Dr. Gyneth Bibera, Country Medical Director of GlaxoSmithKline Philippines Inc. “The underestimation of their disease's severity often leads to complacency, assuming that they only need treatment to react to symptoms when experienced. What this does is heightens the risk of asthma attacks, emergency hospital visits, a decreased quality of life, or even death.” 

A persistent respiratory condition called asthma necessitates ongoing medication. A daily preventive regimen employing ICS therapy, in addition to any other prescribed medications a patient may be taking, is an efficient strategy to manage it. Instead of merely utilizing ICS as a relief while symptoms are already present, it helps to address the underlying cause of the asthma episodes. Patients can stay clear of asthma symptoms and exacerbations by committing to early and regular therapy. 

“Patients must view their asthma treatments as preventive rather than a reactive measure to control their condition. In partnership with their physicians, it's about maintaining consistency of treatment to provide them the best outcome in managing a chronic condition like asthma.” Dr. Bibera ends.

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