World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day

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Highlights:
  • Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs that can cause difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.
  • World Asthma Day is observed on the first Tuesday of May annually.
  • The theme for World Asthma Day 2018 is 'Never too early, never too late, it's always the right time to address airways disease'.
World Asthma Day is an event that takes place on the first Tuesday of May every year. It is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and aims to improve asthma awareness and care worldwide. The theme for World Asthma Day 2018 is "Never too early, never too late. It's always the right time to address airways disease". First of May, 2018 marks the 20th annual World Asthma Day in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Asthma: A Common Problem

Asthma is a common inflammatory condition of the lungs which constricts the airways and produces extra mucus. The condition makes it difficult for people to breathe and leads to shortness of breath.
World Asthma Day

While it is a minor nuisance for some people, for others, it can be a major problem that affects quality of life and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma is a worldwide problem and affects people from all over the world irrespective of the development status of the country. The WHO estimates indicate that a total of 235 million people worldwide are suffering from asthma.

Moreover, the fact that asthma cannot be cured makes it a continuous public health concern. However, there are a few lifestyle changes that can help control asthma.

Lifestyle changes to Control Asthma

Avoid asthma triggers
  • Use an air-conditioner
  • Prevent mold spores
  • Decontaminate your house
  • Clean regularly
Stay healthy
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintain healthy weight

What you can do to create awareness

  • Awareness talks and walks
  • Campaigns
  • Fund raisers

Treating Asthma

Prevention and long-term control are key to stop asthma attacks. Treatment generally involves learning to recognize your triggers, taking appropriate steps to avoid them and ensuring your daily asthma medications are taken correctly.

The treatment may include inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma medications. Allergy medications are also given to keep asthma at bay. In cases of severe asthma, where the usual treatments fail to work, bronchial thermoplasty is offered as treatment.

Speaking about the latest breakthroughs in treatment of asthma, Dr. Arvind Perathur, Consultant, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi says, "Inhalers and staying away from common allergens is the corner stone for treatment. The newest modality available is bronchial thermoplasty. This uses radiofrequency energy heat to decrease the airway wall thickness and helps decrease asthma symptoms. Nearly 80% of patients have a great-sustained response".

Bronchial thermoplasty involves heating the insides of the airways in the lungs with an electrode thereby reducing the smooth muscle inside the airways. This limits the characteristic ability of asthma to tighten the airways, making breathing easier and possibly reducing asthma attacks.

References:
  1. World Asthma Day - (http://ginasthma.org/wad/)
  2. Asthma - (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369660)

Source-Medindia

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