MANILA, Philippines – In the Philippines, the National and Health Nutrition Survey states that the overall prevalence of asthma was estimated at 8.7% based on wheezing for the past 12 months. And according to the 2017 WHO data, asthma deaths in the country reached over 13,000.
According to this research, “New Versus Old: The Impact of Changing Patterns of Inhaled Corticosteroid Prescribing and Dosing Regimens in Asthma Management” by Professor Dave Singh, daily usage of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or maintenance inhalers, addresses both the evident and underlying asthma symptoms that patients experience, decreasing the number and severity of their asthma attacks. This also solves the tendency of patients’ over-reliance or under-reliance on their needed medication.
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.”
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that requires maintenance medication. An effective way to manage it is through a preventive daily treatment using ICS therapies, alongside other prescribed medication that a patient might have. It helps to address the underlying source of the asthma attacks, as opposed to only using ICS as a reliever once symptoms are already present. By committing to early and consistent treatment, patients can avoid experiencing asthma symptoms and exacerbations.
“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.