LETTER: Look after yourself in cold weather

Ninety per cent of people with asthma find that colds and flu make their asthma worse, putting them at an increased risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack. With reports of severe cold weather hitting the UK this week, it’s really important that the one in 11 people with asthma in the UK understand how to manage their condition to stay well and out of hospital. The warning signs that asthma is getting worse include needing more reliever inhaler, waking in the night with coughing and wheezing and a drop in your peak flow meter readings. People with asthma can reduce their chances of having an attack by taking their regular preventer inhaler as prescribed by their doctor, making sure they have an annual asthma review with their doctor or asthma nurse, a written asthma action plan and an inhaler check. This is even more important with a cold snap forecast as we know that sudden changes in temperature can bring on asthma attack symptoms suddenly. Anyone concerned about their asthma can visit www.asthma.org.uk for advice, or call the Asthma UK Helpline on 0800 121 62 44.

Kay Boycott

Chief Executive, Asthma UK