correctly believe that when asthma symptoms subside, their controller medicine can be taken less regularly. For those with persistent asthma, a controller, or maintenance medications, helps manage chronic lung inflammation. When taken over the long-term, asthma controller medications are shown to not only help control asthma symptoms, but also help to improve lung function. Of the patients taking a controller medication, nearly all (93%) of patients indicate that controller medications work best when taken every day.
"There is a clear need for more physician-to-patient education about asthma control and appropriate therapies," said Dr. Reynold A. Panettieri, from the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study. "The first step to asthma control is for patients and physicians to create an asthma action plan, which may include a controller therapy.
Asthma, considered one of the most serious chronic diseases in the United States, affects more than 22 million Americans. In fact, in 2004, sudden uncontrolled asthma episodes accounted for an estimated 1.8 million emergency room visits and nearly 500,000 hospitalizations. Current asthma management guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) note that properly controlled asthma is marked by patients being able to carry out all normal day-to-day activities, a decrease in weekly symptoms (no more than two times per week) and a decrease in yearly asthma attacks (no more than one attack per year which required oral corticosteroid therapy).
Asthma patients should not have to accept "uncontrolled asthma" and frequent, unplanned visits to the ER as part of having asthma. Proper care and treatment may help patients better control their asthma symptoms. Visit www.AsthmaGap.com and sign up to receive tools and resources to help make living with asthma easier.
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