Asthma is a common condition that affects around 1 in 12 adults in the UK. It usually starts in childhood, but can also appear for the first time during adulthood.
Asthma affects the airways, or the bronchus that let air into your lungs. These become inflamed and irritated, and temporarily narrow when exposed to a trigger, causing the common symptoms of asthma that can be frustrating and difficult to live with.
On average in the UK, 3 people die every day of asthma, so it’s important to make sure that it’s well controlled and that you always have the medication you need on you at all times in case of an asthma attack.
Asthma is most commonly treated with two types of inhaler – a preventer which should be taken every day, and a reliever which should be carried at all times, and can help to reduce symptoms of asthma during a flare up or attack.
iMeds UK can provide asthma reliever inhalers online once you’ve completed a short consultation form about your condition. All orders for inhalers online are subject to doctor approval.
Dr. Diana Gall
Our Health Care Team
Asthma is a very common condition that causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes. This can cause breathlessness, wheezing and a cough. Whilst some cases of asthma can be mild, it usually requires treatment so that symptoms can be managed effectively.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition that affects the bronchial tubes that carry air to your lungs. It’s common, and affects around 4.3 million adults in the UK.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for asthma, but treatments do exist which are able to improve the symptoms and quality of life of those that suffer with the condition.
Asthma can usually be diagnosed by a doctor, but if you’re an adult with an underlying health condition that might cause similar symptoms, you may need to be referred to specialist in order to be diagnosed.
Asthma can be mild for some people, but severe for others, and you’re more likely to suffer from it if one or both of your parents did, if you were exposed to smoking as a child, or if you suffer from other allergies or eczema. However, you may also develop it later in life without having these other factors present.
With asthma, you’ll almost always notice symptoms. However, as they can sometimes mimic other conditions, it can be easy to brush off asthma symptoms as something else.
Some of the main asthma symptoms include:
- Tight feeling in chest
You might notice these symptoms in day to day life, and with asthma, they’re usually worse at night or first thing in the morning. You should also take notice of when the symptoms seem worse, as asthma can have certain triggers which can make the condition worse from time to time. If you notice that you have more severe symptoms after going on a run, or during the summer if you have hay fever, you may have triggers that initiate an asthma attack.
During an asthma attack, your normal asthma symptoms can become severe, and it’s common to feel like you can’t catch your breath. Asthma attacks are usually triggered by something, but symptoms don’t always come on suddenly – they can happen gradually over the space of a few hours.
You might be having an asthma attack if you experience:
- Worsening wheezing, cough or breathlessness
- Your blue inhaler isn’t helping to relieve your symptoms
- Too breathless to eat, speak or even sleep
- Breathing very fast
- Have a low peak flow score
If this happens to you, you should sit in an upright position and take a puff of your blue reliever inhaler every 30-60 seconds, for a maximum of 10 puffs. If your symptoms don’t improve and you still feel breathless, you should call for an ambulance. If no help has arrived after 15 minutes, you should use the reliever inhaler again until the ambulance arrives.
People can die from asthma attacks, so it’s important to make sure that you manage your symptoms as best as you can, and that you’re aware of what may trigger an asthma attack.
Asthma triggers can be different for everyone. Something that might trigger your friend who has asthma may not make symptoms worse for you and vice versa. However, there are some common things that tend to trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition. These asthma triggers include:
Asthma treatment usually consists of two types of inhalers – a brown inhaler (usually a preventer) and a blue inhaler which is used when symptoms worsen or if you feel an asthma attack coming on.
Asthma treatment is available on the NHS, but isn’t exempt from prescription charges unless you already don’t pay for your medication.
Sometimes, you might be given a tablet to take every day instead of a brown inhaler, but this is something that should be discussed with your GP or asthma nurse.
Taking your medication for asthma is incredibly important for long-term management of symptoms. When your condition is managed well, you might not notice it in day to day life, and it’s likely that you’ll experience fewer asthma attacks.
There are many different types of asthma inhaler, but the most common ones are beclametasone (the brown prevention inhaler) and salbutamol (the blue reliever inhaler).
There are some more types of inhaler available, but it’s possible that not all of them will be on the NHS. Unfortunately, iMeds UK can only prescribe salbutamol asthma inhalers, as other types may need more regular monitoring with your own GP.
If salbutamol inhalers don’t help to relieve your symptoms of asthma when they worsen, you should visit your GP and ask their advice on what to do. It may be that there’s a more suitable treatment for you, or you might need more tests to investigate if there’s an underlying cause.
Your blue inhaler should be carried with you at all times, as this is one of the few ways to prevent an asthma attack when you feel symptoms worsening. Whilst you probably won’t need to use your blue inhaler every day, it’s important to keep it on you, especially when you’re travelling abroad.
Always make sure that you have a full blue inhaler somewhere for when you run out of your current one.
Exercise induced asthma
Exercise induced asthma is fairly common, and in this type of the condition, symptoms begin to start during and after exertion. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid exercise.
Taking regular exercise can actually help with managing asthma in the long run, but you should have the condition controlled before taking part in exertive exercise where you’re likely to get out of breath.
It might help to have a friend that you can exercise with who can help you should you experience an asthma attack during a run or work out. There are also plenty of non-strenuous activities that you can do to keep active, such as walking and yoga. Some find that swimming might help, though you should be careful if water or chlorine are triggers for your symptoms.
Allergic asthma is also a common type of asthma. It can affect people all year round, or just with seasonal allergies such as hay fever.
Even though you might only experience symptoms when exposed to an allergen, it’s still important to carry your inhaler on you at all times, just as you would with an epi-pen if you had severe allergies. It might also help you to take an antihistamine if you know you’ll be exposed to an irritant, as these may help to stop some of the inflammation and narrowing that happens with asthma.
Allergic asthma can be especially frustrating if you aren’t exactly sure what you’re allergic to. If you suspect that your asthma is triggered by an allergic reaction, you should speak to your doctor to try and find out what it is, as it may be something avoidable or replaceable, such as a certain type of washing detergent.
Asthma inhalers are available online from iMeds UK. We offer 3 types of salbutamol inhaler, and prices start from £9.99
Other inhalers such as the brown preventer inhaler, or brands such as fostair are unfortunately not available from iMeds UK at the moment.
Buying your inhalers online can save time, as you can submit your consultation form at a time to suit you. you can even get the medication shipped to your address via enxt day delivery if you select this method at checkout before 2pm.
If you want to buy your asthma inhaler from iMeds UK, you’ll need to complete a consultation form first. This is so that your doctors have enough information about you and your medical history to make an informed decision on whether to prescribe the salbutamol inhaler or not.
If you order is approved, the total amount will be taken from your bank account, and your inhaler will be shipped from our partner pharmacy in plain packaging.
You can buy up to 3 inhalers at a time from iMeds UK – perfect for if you’re going on holiday and need enough medication to cover you for your trip.