Effective but insufficiently followed treatment

Asthma affects more than 4 million French people. One person in ten suffers at least once during his or her lifetime. However, this disease remains poorly known, insufficiently treated and is still the subject of many misconceptions. The point on the occasion of the World Asthma Day 2009.

Dangerous ideas about asthma and its treatments

World Asthma Day (05/05/09)

In 2006, the number of French people with an asthmatic episode amounted to 6,260,000, of whom 4,150,000 continue to suffer 1. Effective treatments exist, but certain prejudices remain and can be dangerous. Code>

Asthma affects more than 4 million French people, or 6.7% of the population. Despite this number, which continues to increase, 6 asthmatics out of 10 still have insufficient control of their asthma1! Yet current treatments allow asthmatics to have an almost normal life.

Indeed, asthma and its symptoms must be treated not only in crisis but also in long-term treatment, usually with long-acting anti-inflammatories (inhaled corticosteroids, antileukotrienes). Many patients do not respect their prescription as soon as their breathing becomes correct again. However, only long-term treatment reduces chronic inflammation of the bronchi and therefore exacerbations, hospitalizations, acute attacks and deterioration of breathing. Thus, in the United States, admittedly mortality and hospital admissions of adults are decreasing, 2 but the number of hospital stays is still increasing in children, especially the younger ones.2

Therefore, better control of asthma is needed to allow better management of the disease, which significantly improves the quality of life. But many prejudices explain the difficulties encountered by many patients to treat themselves long-term.

The association Asthma and Allergy, on the occasion of the World Day of May 5, wishes to draw attention to several ideas received which are really indispensable to know better to treat themselves in case of asthmatic disease 3

World Asthma Day takes place every 1st Tuesday of May. The 2009 edition will therefore take place on 5 May. This year's "Asthmatic, Live Together" event aims to educate patients and their families about the need for balanced and controlled asthma. For the occasion, about a hundred events will be organized throughout the country.

Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, asthma schools and many more will have made themselves available to inform the public about this disease. Conferences, animations, games, meeting points will be organized. Some booths will even be equipped with devices capable of measuring the breath.

Arrow Generic, Generic Pharmaceutical Laboratory, will offer pharmacists the opportunity to participate in the prevention and screening of asthma by implementing blast measurement operations using a breath animation kit. < Br>

A new brochure, published for the occasion in 300 000 copies, will take up the main messages, namely the importance of good information, discuss with the doctor the interest of therapeutic education and sport. .

Finally, the National Committee against Respiratory Diseases will sensitize the patients and their relatives to the necessity of accompanying asthmatics. The latter can control their respiratory problems more when they are supervised by different structures other than the hospital, such as pharmacists, dispensaries, information at school, coaches ... Asthmatics must not admit Habit of being embarrassed!

Asthma is a multifactorial disease that can be aggravated by pollution, tobacco ... 7 people still die every day in the United States3! It is therefore essential for each patient to be well acquainted with his / her disease, to identify the causes of a crisis, to fully understand and follow his / her basic treatment in order to have an optimal quality of life, that is to say. .. normal.

1. Asthma in the United States in 2006: prevalence and symptom control, IRDES study, 16 January 2009; Study n ° 623, January 2008: the state of health of the population in the United States - data from the 2007 report to monitor the objectives of the public health law; Press kit of the association Asthme & Allergies, April 2009

The site of the association Asthme & Allergies, where you will find information, advice, testimonies and the list of the French events of the World Day.

Asthma is only treated with bronchodilators: False. Asthma arises from two phenomena: the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi and the constriction of the latter. During a crisis, there is a tightening of the bronchi, which makes breathing difficult. Bronchodilators, when inhaled, dilate the bronchi and rapidly relieve asthma. But in the asthmatic person, the bronchi are in permanent or semi-permanent state of inflammation. However, this type of medication does not act on inflammation, which is why it is important to associate their use with anti-inflammatory background treatment (inhaled corticosteroids, antileukotrienes), and to regularly carry out an assessment of the function Respiratory (measurement of the peak flow by the attending physician or the pulmonologist). There are risks of habituation to bronchodilators: False. The risk of addiction is unfounded, especially when bronchodilators are used in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs. Some asthmatics often use their inhaler for convenience rather than addiction. On the other hand, if the inflammation is not treated, the disease evolves and the bronchodilators may no longer suffice (it is not the effect of the drugs that diminishes but the disease worsens). : False. The corticosteroids used are prescribed by a doctor. The local use, by inhalation, allows to use them in small quantity. In addition, the dose of these corticosteroids is adapted to each patient. This anti-inflammatory treatment must therefore be well followed, without fear, in terms of frequency and duration to be effective and to avoid the progression of the disease: Asthmatics must not do sport: False. On the contrary, sport or any other physical activity makes it possible to develop respiratory capacities. In addition, balanced and controlled asthma allows the patient to exercise without triggering a respiratory or crisis. The same applies to schoolchildren who can play sports under the supervision of their teachers. However, they must be made aware of the possibility of asthma in the children concerned: My child is too young to take medication: False. It is important that the child follow his treatment as soon as he is diagnosed with asthma. He will thus be able to get used to it and to appropriate his disease, which will make his adhesion to the treatment much easier and its correct taking in the long course. Especially since the respiratory capital of the child is built from an early age. Asthma disappears in adolescence: False. In some cases, asthma disappears. But we can not really cure it, we remain potentially asthmatic. Conversely, the disease may worsen over time. But teenagers and young adults often have a denial behavior. This attitude can be dangerous or even fatal. This is why it is important to supervise the adolescent and / or the young asthmatic adult so that they can take their treatment as well as possible. Asthma is a chronic disease that can come and go, disappear and reappear ... Asthma is caused by the modern way of life (pollution, tobacco ...): False. It is true that certain environmental factors, such as fumes, diesel, industrial pollution are detrimental to respiratory health. However, asthma can also be caused by pollens from flowers or trees, animal hair, dust mites, mold, etc. There is also an hereditary component in this disease. Even if an evolution of our society toward "organic" and sustainable is desirable, it must be borne in mind that some very "natural" objects can be very irritating to an asthmatic, such as candles, incense, oils Essential. The same applies to certain plants or domestic animals.