Today, Tuesday, 6th May, 2008, is World Asthma Day and the theme of this year's event is 'You Can Control your Asthma'.
To raise awareness of the management of asthma, Letterkenny General Hospital will hold an information stand at Letterkenny Shopping Centre on Thursday, 8th May from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. Healthcare professionals will be on hand to answer questions from members of the public and provide relevant information to help reduce the burden of asthma.
This year's World Asthma Day will continue the focus on the positive theme 'You can control your Asthma', which is consistent with the emphasis on asthma control set out in the latest version of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines, and will help to spread the word that asthma control can be achieved in many asthma patients with proper management.
The Asthma Information Stand at Letterkenny Shopping Centre will be operated by respiratory nurse specialists and a paediatric nurse specialist from Letterkenny GeneralHospital, and people are encouraged to approach the health professionals and ask questions about asthma care and management. Highland Radio's Lee Gooch will present his Drivetime radio show from the Shopping Centre in the afternoon, so there will be plenty of atmosphere for people to soak up while receiving informative advice on the issue of asthma management.
Patricia McLaughlin, Respiratory Nurse Specialist at Letterkenny General Hospital, who will be in attendance on the day, says: 'For asthma treatment to be successful, it is important to learn all you can about asthma and asthma treatment. Asthma sufferers should be familiar with their medications and the devices used to administer them, recognize the warning signs of an asthma exacerbation, be aware of triggers and how to avoid them, and have knowledge of other topics specific to their health needs that are critical to good asthma management. '
Asthma prevalence is very high in Ireland, with as many as 470,000 people in the country having the condition. Between 80 and 100 people die in Irelandeach year from asthma, with 30% of these under 40 years of age. There has been a considerable increase in the development of asthma in developed countries over the past twenty years. The reason for the increase in most likely to be environmental - either due to a great change in the external environment (allergic substances, pollution, smoking) or a change in our bodies' responses to the external environment.
As there is no cure for asthma, the Asthma Society of Ireland states that the goal of asthma therapy is to successfully manage the disease. And the main message of World Asthma Day is that with proper management and care, a person with asthma can live a longand healthy life with few symptoms.
Further information: Mary Garvin, HSE West Communications; Phone 091 77 5474
Last updated on: 02 / 05 / 2008