"You Can Control Your Asthma"
The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) strives to step up asthma awareness and educate the masses about this inflammatory disorder of the airways. To get asthma onto the global agenda, May 3rd, 2011, has been dedicated as World Asthma Day. The main objective of this initiative is to dispel myths and fear about asthma. Healthcare professionals, civic health officials and GINA put their hands together to make asthma patients aware about the condition and to help reduce the prevalence of asthma, morbidity and deaths.
AdvertisementTo all the 300 million victims of asthma worldwide, the theme of World Asthma Day 2011, "You Can Control Your Asthma", is a powerful message to take stock of the condition with proper management and lead a normal life. Further, GINA will also launch the next phase of its campaign 'Reduce asthma hospitalizations 50 percent by 2015 worldwide'. And better control of asthma means fewer hospitalizations.
The first step towards controlling asthma is to understand the causes and symptoms of this disorder. Asthma can be triggered due to a variety of causes ranging from pollutants in the environment to weather changes and even to physical exercise. Genes also play a great role in inducing asthma.
Known triggers of asthma -
• Air pollution
• Tobacco smoke
• Animal dander
• Cockroaches, dust mites
• Pollen from trees and grass
• Changes in weather
• Cold air
• Pungent odors
• Fragrance from perfumes
• Laughing bouts
• Emotional moments
• Viral infections
Tightness of chest, breathlessness, coughing bouts, and wheezing are some of the symptoms of asthma. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, victims can suffer a mild attack or even go on to experience life threatening situations where timely medical help may be required to save the day.
The goal of managing asthma is to use least possible medications. It is imperative that victims of asthma have a clear plan chalked out after consultation with the medical specialist.
Typically, asthma management will involve treatment with medications such as bronchodilators that provide quick relief.
For chronic asthma patients, long-term medicines such as inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed. These corticosteroids help bring down the swelling in the airways, and alleviate the condition.
Discipline is the corner stone of asthma management. Discipline is important in every facet of life and asthma management is no exception. The most important aspect of asthma management revolves around three key areas.
• Understanding triggers and controlling exposure to them
• Regular medical check-up
• Adherence to medications
The most important message for World Asthma Day 2011 is that 'Asthma is manageable' and it is in your hands to control asthma.
World Asthma Day activities have been planned in many cities of India. For instance,
• The Society for Asthma Care and Research, New Delhi, is going to conduct free check ups, including spirometry and peak flow monitoring.
• The ENT and Allergy Centre in Panchkula will educate health workers about asthma, especially how to deal with an asthma emergency.
• Amruthavarshini Asthma and COPD Clinic in Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh will educate patients about asthma, using a lung model and discuss the value of inhalation therapy.
• Sushrut Ayurved Clinic, Pune, will conduct free checkups for asthma with treatment.
• Vagus Hospital, Bangalore, will celebrate World Asthma Day by offerin free consultation, free chest X-ray and PFT and 50 percent discount on all investigations and procedures.