People with asthma are putting their lives at risk by failing to manage it properly, say experts, as a survey has found that a third end up in accident and emergency due to the condition.
Over half of young people resort to using a friend's inhaler in an emergency after forgetting their own, while 36 per cent admitted to using an out of date device.
Almost one in five (18 per cent) had also not visited their doctor for a check-up to determine the state of their asthma in the last year, according to the poll of more than 1,000 people by Lloyds Pharmacy.
In 2009 there were 1,131 deaths from asthma in Britain, of which all but 12 were in those aged 15 or older. Asthma UK, the charity, estimates that up to 90 per cent are "preventable".
Professor Neil Barnes, an asthma expert at Barts and The London NHS Trust, said: "Most people with asthma should be able to live a normal and unrestricted life if their asthma is under control.
"However, on a day-to-day basis, I see what can happen when you don’t control your asthma effectively and it can be very frightening and, in some cases, even life-threatening.