World asthma day 2012 (WAD) falls on May 1st. The theme for 2012 is "You Can Control Your Asthma".
The day is sponsored by the global initiative for asthma (GINA) as an effort to lay emphasis on controlling this chronic disease, bring about greater co-operation between health care groups and health care educators and, to provide better care for asthma patients.
AdvertisementVarious activities ranging from bill boards and stickers to music concerts and health fair will be organized all over the world to spread awareness regarding asthma control and to highlight the steps involved in managing this chronic condition.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the airways or the bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs.
People who are affected with asthma are sensitive to particular irritants such as allergens, exercise, pollens, strong fragrance, or even smoke. Exposure to irritants causes the airways to become inflamed and constricted, thereby minimizing the quantity of air reaching the lungs.
The most common symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, coughing, tightness in the chest and wheezing particularly in the night or early in the day. When the symptoms worsen the vital organs are denied their share of oxygen supply and this leads to an "asthma attack".
Medications usually focus on bringing about immediate relief; on a long-term basis they help to prevent the onset of symptoms. Each individual reacts to allergens differently and, as a result, there is a need to prescribe different doses of various medications to asthmatic individuals, depending upon their need.
A person's asthma is said to be under control when his/her symptoms are minimized, when he/she can exercise without breathing difficulties and when his/her lung function tests are normal.
According to GINA'S global strategy for asthma management and prevention there are four key steps to control asthma -
• Develop patient /doctor partnership
• Identify and avoid exposure to risk factors
• Diagnose and treat asthma.
• Manage asthma complications.
Also, under GINA's strategy, the dose of the medications are increased if the person is ill and is gradually decreased once the illness is controlled.
Asthma can be controlled. So just breathe easy..!