The original publication is available at http://www.cmej.org.za/index.php/cmej
The SA Thoracic Society and the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) have recently published updated guidelines to assist practitioners in the management of asthma. The guidelines were based on reports that asthma management is far from optimal. Despite a wealth of evidence on the inflammatory nature of asthma, inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are still under-prescribed and even when issued, are under-utilised. Many doctors and patients have also aligned themselves to lower expectations: doctors who allow asthma to be uncontrolled and patients who accept that they will always be symptomatic. The consequences are unnecessary morbidity, exacerbations, time off work or school, and even mortality.