A new and scary survey came out of the UK this month—almost half of all asthma patients underestimate their exacerbation risk, leaving them open to potentially life threatening asthma attacks.

The survey looked at over 50,000 asthmatics. Only 52% thought they were at risk of an asthma attack, but in reality 93% were. In the UKalone there are 4.3 million adults with asthma, meaning about 2 million are at risk of an attack and don’t realize it. Estimates say about 30 million Americans have asthma, so if theUK statistics hold true for theUS that’s 15 million at risk.Omron Micro-Air

What can be done? According to the head of health promotion at Asthma UK, David Hines, health care professionals need to recognize who’s at risk, and patients need to know the risk factors. As Hines says, “Three people die from asthma every single day. We must act now.”

So know the risk factors and be ready. One way to be ready is to keep your portable nebulizer or inhaler on hand. Fortunately, nebulizers such as the Omron Microair are small, lightweight and battery operated, so they can easily be carried in your purse or even pocket. Besides, it’s much better to not need your medication and have it, than to need it and not have it.