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.
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
An additional sub-theme has been introduced this year, which
is, "It's Time to Control
Though 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