Monday

25th Mar 2019

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Life is possible for patients with severe asthma

  • Around 5-10% of asthma patients are dealing with severe asthma. (Photo: EFA)

On World Asthma Day, European asthma patients are joining voices under the theme "Never too early, never too late" to ask for more research on the causes of asthma. Patients should be able to receive a more accurate diagnosis to enable them to have better lives.

Although most patients are able to control their asthma with current treatments, the basic solutions do not help all patients.

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Around 5-10% of asthma patients are dealing with severe asthma, a set of different disease sub-types that greatly complicates breathing every day. The disease can, without warning, put people off work and in hospital because of asthma attacks that can be fatal.

New disciplines and technology allow asthma to be broken down, taking a deeper look into the underlying mechanisms causing it. Some developments have been made to better and more clearly definition what severe asthma is. There have also been development of more targeted treatments and approaches to control some sub-types of severe asthma.

EFA President Mikaela Odemyr said: "We hope all asthma patients are controlled in the near future and that is why we have launched our Severely, Asthma! Project, featuring patients who have experience living with severe asthma and solving the impacts this disease has in their daily life".

It is the case of Peter, our first Severely, Asthma! patient. After 60 years of struggle with severe asthma, he can finally manage the disease thanks to new treatments and partnership with specialists that has helped him prevent asthma attacks in the last 2 years.

No cure has been found for asthma yet. But scientists have clarified now there is not one but several asthmas, a complex inflammatory disease that behaves differently depending on how genes, proteins, or exposure to environmental factors harmful to human health, interlink.

The combinations are infinite and that explains why the healthcare community is taking asthma and allergies as pilot diseases for the development of personalised medicine.

A healthcare system that embraces patients, treating individuals instead of diseases, might be starting now with personalised medicine. The approach looks at different elements involved in the disease and the patients' lifestyle and environment to better predict disease behaviour and treatments that work.

Personalised medicine allows people to participate in the management of their health by having access to information about disease prevention and treatment.

Yet, to set this new paradigm, patients must be at the centre of the process and become active partners to innovate in the development of medicines and how healthcare systems are structured.

The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations (EFA) is an alliance of over 30 allergy, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients' associations, representing 30% of European citizens currently living with these diseases.

Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

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