Every three seconds somebody in the UK has an asthma attack, new figures suggest.
Data from the charity Asthma UK shows that those with asthma are having more attacks every year than previously thought.
It surveyed more than 10,000 people with asthma, who reported having an attack on average twice a year.
With 5.4million people in the UK currently having treatment for asthma, experts calculated that this averaged one attack every three seconds.
Previous data, collected five years ago from prescription information, suggested that attacks took place every 10 seconds.
But the new figures, based on discussions with patients themselves, suggest attacks are far more frequent.
Asthma attacks can be life-threatening, killing three people on average every day.
The condition affects the airways, narrowing them and making it harder to breathe.
Triggers can include cold air, coughs and colds, and grass pollen.
Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead at Asthma UK, said: ‘It is shocking to think that every three seconds in the UK someone could be having an asthma attack, a terrifying experience than can cause distress and in some cases prove fatal.
‘Asthma attacks do not come out of the blue and if people recognise the tell-tale signs that an attack is about to strike, they can get the help that could save their life.’
The charity warns that if people need to use their reliever inhaler – usually a blue