A Northland respiratory consultant says the high number of asthma deaths in the region could be reduced if people would simply use both their inhalers.
Twenty people a year die of asthma attacks in Northland and more than 300 are hospitalised.
Dr Christine Bradley said people often stop using their preventative inhalers because they don't feel an immediate benefit.
She said when they do suffer an acute attack, and end up in hospital, their lungs are in such a state it can be very hard to turn the condition around.
Dr Bradley said respiratory problems were so prevalent in Northland that many people see wheezing and coughing as normal, and asthma often goes under-diagnosed, and untreated.
She said the challenge for health professionals is to turn that mind-set around.