There was once a time when asthma was being underdiagnosed and undertreated, but according to experts this week, the situation has completely shifted.
In a new study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, health experts have expressed their concern that asthma is now being over-diagnosed and kids are being prescribed inhalers ‘for no good reason’.
Now, authors Prof Andrew Bush and Dr Louise Fleming are trying to publicise the potential negative side-effects of using an inhaler when you don’t actually need to.
“Inhaled corticosteroids, when properly used, dramatically improve quality of life and reduce the risk of asthma attacks and mortality,” they wrote.
However, the drugs used in inhalers can also work to suppress immune cell activity in the airways, which can lead to a heightened risk of contracting respiratory infections.
The authors have urged medical practitioners to think very carefully before making a diagnosis, and to carry out other relevant tests before definitively diagnosing a case of asthma.
Given that kids can often also grow out of the condition, the authors have called for more periodic testing and check-ups to be carried out in the years after the initial diagnosis.
What are your thoughts?