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Festive season could be deadly for people with asthma

Asthma UK has issued a nationwide reminder to be aware of seasonal asthma triggers. The organisation acknowledged that “Christmas should be a time of good cheer, relaxation and celebration but, for many people with asthma, the festive season can be a testing time.”

New analysis from Asthma UK shows that an estimated 300,000 people have had an asthma attack over the Christmas period. Festive triggers including Christmas trees, yuletide stress, party foods such as pigs in blankets and festive tipples could be to blame for some people. People with asthma have sensitive airways. When they come into contact with triggers such as stress, sulphites found in wine and processed meat such as pigs in blankets, and mould found on Christmas trees, it causes their airways to become more inflamed and tighter, causing coughing, wheezing and leaving them struggling to breathe.

Winter can be a particularly problematic time for people with asthma as colds and flu and cold air are also top asthma triggers. That’s why at Asthma UK, we are offering simple hints and tips so the 5.4 million with asthma can stay well and enjoy the Christmas season.

If you have asthma we advise you to:

Take your preventer inhaler (usually brown) as prescribed. This builds up protection over time and means you’re less likely to have an asthma attack if you come into contact with a trigger;

Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) at all times;

Watch out for danger signs and get urgent medical help if your asthma is getting worse such as needing to use your blue reliever inhaler three or more times each week.

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