Asthma SafetyCare

The Asthma Society's first Asthma SafteyCare project will help people with asthma recognise if they have become over-reliant on their reliever inhaler, and the steps they should take if they are overusing it. 

Asthma Safetycare Banner

According to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), using three or more reliever inhalers a year indicates a person is at risk of an asthma exacerbation while the use of twelve or more a year is an indication someone is at risk of an asthma-related death.

If you are using your reliever inhaler more than twice a week, you are over-reliant on it and your asthma is not controlled.

The exception to this is people with asthma who participate in sport/exercise, it is still recommended you use your reliever inhaler prior to warming up before exercising.

The Asthma Society is calling on all people who are over-reliant on their reliever inhaler to act now to get their asthma in control by taking the following actions:

  1. Download our Asthma Action Plan 
  2. Complete your Asthma Action Plan with your healthcare professional and speak specifically about your asthma medications

Then call our free Asthma and COPD Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 to help you understand asthma, its triggers and how to manage it, and to better understand your asthma control

This SafetyCare project and the hmR research is kindly supported by AstraZeneca.

For our press release on our first Asthma SafetyCare Project, click here (insert)

#MyAsthmaStory: Ingrid McLoughlin

Reliever Inhaler - Blue MDI

Reliever Inhalers

Reliever inhalers are used to widen the airways and reduce asthma symptoms in the short term. They are a key part of treating an asthma attack.

Recent research conducted by hmR Ireland revealed that a huge proportion of people in all age groups are overusing their reliever inhalers in every county throughout Ireland, putting them at risk of an asthma exacerbation or asthma related death.

Alarmingly, within five years of diagnosis, half of all people become over-reliant on their reliever inhaler. As people with asthma get older, their rate of over-reliance increases, resulting in increased levels of uncontrolled asthma. The Research also found that:

  • Three in ten use more than 12 reliever inhalers a year, putting them at risk of an asthma-related death
  • Seven in ten people are using more than three reliever inhalers a year, putting them at risk of an asthma attack (or some form of asthma exacerbation)
  • Within five years of diagnosis, half the asthma population are over-reliant on their reliever inhaler
  • In the year after diagnosis, 30% children aged 0-17 are overusing their reliever inhaler
  • In the year after diagnosis, 60% people aged 50 or over are overusing their reliever inhaler

More information on the research can be found here. (link to press release)