Asthma is a common respiratory disease today, partly due to increase in urbanization and air pollution. According to the WHO, around 235 million people all over the world including children suffer from this chronic respiratory condition, which is characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing to varying extents.
The World Asthma Day is celebrated every year on the first Tuesday of May since 1998 to improve asthma awareness and care of asthma patients. The day is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and is observed on May 7th this year. The theme for this year's World Asthma Day remains the same, that is, "You Can Control Your Asthma." An additional sub-theme has been introduced this year, which is, "It's Time to Control Asthma."
AdvertisementThough asthma is a condition that is associated with low fatality when compared to other chronic respiratory diseases, symptoms of asthma are associated with sleeplessness, daytime fatigue and reduced activity levels. Awareness about this condition can help to reduce asthma attacks to a great extent. For example, if an asthma patient is helped to identify the trigger that causes asthma, simple avoidance of the trigger can substantially reduce the attacks.
A number of medications are now available to prevent and treat asthma. Inhalation of certain medications using metered dose inhalers and spacers, or nebulizers ensures that adequate amounts of medication reach the respiratory tract, and thereby terminate an attack. It is necessary that people with asthma are aware of these medications and newer drug delivery systems to bring about better control of their asthma symptoms.
Asthma is a disease that often affects children; it is therefore important that parents are made aware of ways and means to control and prevent attacks. This would help to reduce absenteeism of the child from school and help the child to be more comfortable.
Though asthma cannot be completely cured, awareness about the condition and ways to deal with it can help patients lead a near-normal life.