According to Dr. H. Paramesh, director of Bangalore's Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital, 26 per cent of children aged below 18 in Bangalore suffer from asthma. The causes can include among others, air pollution, pets and even cockroaches, says Dr. Paramesh.
Speaking at a press conference, Paramesh gave that 75 per cent of children who suffer from asthma, develop the disease when they are around five.
In all cities, the chief cause of asthma is air pollution, adds Paramesh. In Bangalore, the situation is alarming- the incidence of asthma had risen from around 9 per cent in 1979 to 26 percent in 2004.
Paramesh undertook a study from 1979 to 2004, which covered the environmental changes causing respiratory problems, in Indian cities.
In Bangalore Paramesh said, data gave that only 11.5 per cent of schoolchildren studying in low traffic density areas suffered from asthma. Shockingly enough, this the number went up to 34 per cent among children who studied in high traffic density areas and who were also from lower economic background.
Interestingly, Paramesh has accounted 25 per cent of the causes for asthma to cockroaches.
Cockroaches can be found even in the most affluent homes. This pest is very difficult to get rid off. It is always better to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods instead of harmful chemical sprays, against these die-hard pests. This comprises using an array of slower-acting but more longer-lasting and eco-friendly methods such as cleanliness, physical bait traps, borax powders instead of harmful sprays, etc.
The droppings (feces), saliva or body parts of cockroaches constitute 'roach dust'-a very common asthma allergen. Only 7.5 per cent of asthma cases could be traced back to pollen and fungi in the city, the doctor adds.
Paramesh has also advised against the use of mosquito coils.
"It releases polluting elements that is equal to smoke from anywhere between 75 to 130 cigarettes," he stresses.
Paramesh also gave that only 5 per cent of asthma cases could be traced to cats and dogs. This puts at rest the prevailing myth that pets cause asthma.
Dr. Paramesh has advocated inhalation therapy. According to him, in this method the medicine is taken directly to the lungs and causes fewer side effects.