The brown inhaler is the preventer and the blue inhaler is the reliever. Photograph: Science Photo Library/Getty Images A diagnosis of asthma needs to be made with as much certainty as possible, because a failure to diagnose and manage it correctly can result in death. Bristol Acupuncture Treatment“The National Review of Asthma Deaths highlights another reason why we need to get the diagnosis right. It is an intensely depressing document that shows no lessons have been learnt over the last 15 years, and children still die because of failures in basic management,” write Bush and Fleming. In the UK, about 5.4 million people currently receive treatment for asthma – 1.1 million of whom are children. The problem is that this figure includes many who don’t have it and misses others who do. “Asthma is difficult to diagnose because it’s episodic,” says Dr Samantha Walker of Asthma UK . “Wheezing illness in the under-fives is often labelled as asthma, when in fact it’s just a viral illness. They may be given inhalers that won’t do any harm, but then they must be re-evaluated.” Treatment of suspected asthma is usually a blue inhaler (salbutamol, often marketed as Ventolin) to open up tight airways, and a brown steroid inhaler (inhaled corticosteroids, ICS) to prevent the inflammation that makes the airways narrow. More BonusesSo the brown inhaler is the preventer and the blue inhaler is the reliever.
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