The asthma guidelines in the UK were revised in January 2012 and are based upon research developed by asthma experts at the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the British Thoracic Society. If you have asthma you will be aware that this is a long-term condition, needing careful management in partnership with your doctor or asthma nurse and in practising environmental allergen control.
The UK asthma guidelines cover:
- Drug treatment for asthma
- Non-drug treatment, including alternative medicine approaches
- Self-management and patient education
- How care should be organised and delivered
- Pregnancy & Allergy Information
- Occupational asthma
- Management of asthma attacks
There is some interesting information on non-pharmacological management that may inspire some 'self-help' tips for people with asthma.
This is what the guidelines have to say on asthma prevention (primary prevention):
On secondary prevention (managing existing asthma to avoid attacks), here's what the guidelines have to say:
Allergen-specific allergy shots can be helpful in the management of allergic asthma. The guidelines, therefore, say that immunotherapy can be considered in people with asthma where it is hard to avoid an allergen. But the potential for severe allergic reactions to the therapy must be considered and discussed with the patient.
It is also worth keeping an eye on developments at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), whose mission is to make sure healthcare professionals in the NHS provide the best quality of care while keeping an eye on value for money. In February 2013, NICE is to issue a Quality Standard on asthma.