Deaths caused by asthma attacks are on the rise, says doctors in the UK. Looking at reports of deaths in both England and Wales, there has been a sharp spike of 17% over the course of just one year. Of course, this has led to numerous investigations into what is causing these deaths as well as rampant speculation about this alarming trend.
Asthma is caused by an inflammation of the airways. Something irritates those airways and causes the muscles to tighten. Sometimes, the asthma attack is caused by a buildup of phlegm. An asthma attack is characterized by difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing, as the person suffering the attack attempts to breathe.
The UK experiences some of the highest asthma rates in the world. About 1 in 12 adults suffer from asthma regularly in the UK. These are only the known cases that are being treated medically, typically through the regular use of inhalers. There may be more that doctors are not aware of.
Those who need to take asthma treatment most seriously are the elderly and those parents who have very young children. For these age groups, the risk of death following an asthma attack is more severe. Their bodies simply cannot handle the stress of a serious attack as well as a healthy adult could. Their immune systems may be weaker, and they may be more open to attack as well.
If any elderly person has a history of asthma, they should talk to their doctor about treatment and prevention. Working with a medical professional to prevent the problem before it becomes serious is the key to life-saving treatment. If the asthma attack comes, trying to start treatment then could be too late. It is always better to use preventative measures, when possible.
Taking medication for asthma regularly is vitally important for anyone suffering from asthma, but especially important for children and the elderly. Regular medication ensures that their body is prepared for oncoming attacks and has the resources it needs to prevent them or to decrease their intensity.
Medical reports on statistical deaths caused by asthma showed that the vast majority of these deaths were in women over the age of 65. This can be problematic, as experts are unable to provide treatment as effectively to the elderly as they could to a healthy adult or a child. In addition, there is less known about how asthma affects the elderly than how it affects everyone else. This means that elderly people need to take extra care in ensuring they are not putting themselves at risk for an asthma attack. They also need to have a plan of action worked out with their primary medical doctor.