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World Asthma Day:

World Asthma Day: "Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions"

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  • World Asthma Day (WAD) is observed on the first Tuesday of May every year to raise awareness of asthma worldwide
  • This year, May 4 2021 comes with a theme of “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”
  • This addresses the common and widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that prevent persons with asthma from enjoying optimal benefit from the major advances in the management of this condition

Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a World Health Organization collaborative, organizes World Asthma Day (WAD), on the first Tuesday of May every year - May 4 this year, to raise awareness of asthma worldwide.

WAD was first celebrated in 1998 in more than 35 countries along with the first World Asthma Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain.


What is Asthma?

Asthma is one of the chronic and major non-communicable diseases that affect the lungs and causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

Asthma occurs when the lining of the airways swell, which in turn causes the air passages to narrow. This reduces the flow of air into and out of the lungs. It is recognized as one of the major public health importance by WHO. Globally almost more than 339 million people had asthma with, a 417,918-death level in 2016.

The global asthma treatment market size stood at over $18 billion US in 2019. Even though asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma by reducing and preventing asthma attacks /episodes/exacerbations.

World Asthma Day 2021

With a theme of "Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions" this year, World Asthma Day provides a call to action to address common widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that prevent asthmatic people from enjoying optimal benefit from the major advances in the management of this condition.

It is thereby mandatory for an asthmatic person to follow their medication properly and always keep their nebulizer and inhaler handy. A clean environment with regular exposure to fresh air is CDC's recommended condition for asthmatic people to live in.

Understanding Asthma

With an objective towards unsealing the misconceptions on asthma this year, Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) unravels the most common misconceptions globally that include the following:

Myth: Asthma is a childhood disease; it will grow out as individual ages.

Truth: Asthma can affect at any age (in children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly).

Myth: Asthma is infectious.

Truth: Although viral respiratory infections or allergens can cause asthma; Asthma is not infectious.

Myth: Having a wheeze is mandatory for it to be asthma.

Truth: Not all people experience wheeze as a symptom but still have asthma.

Myth: Exercise is prohibited for people living with asthma.

Truth: Asthmatic people can very well exercise and even perform a top sport when asthma is well controlled.

Myth: Only high-dose steroids control asthma.

Truth: Even low-dose steroids often help in managing asthma attacks.

Managing Asthma
  • Careful clinical history along with breathing tests that include pulmonary function test, spirometry can aid in the diagnosis of the asthma
  • Regular and effective asthma treatment may subdue the severity of the attacks
  • Avoiding drugs, quitting smoking, living in a clean environment help control asthma
  • Recognizing and avoiding triggers that provoke asthma attacks remain the key point in managing asthma.
  • Physical activities and regular exercise also help reduce asthma symptoms in some patients
  • Proper management of asthma renders successful and active lives to people living with the respiratory condition
It is thereby necessary to understand the disease and take relevant measures to stay happy and healthy!

References :
  1. World Asthma Day - (https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/world_asthma_day.htm)
  2. World Asthma Day 2021 - Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions - (https://ginasthma.org/wad/)
  3. World Asthma Day - Asthma Australia - (https://asthma.org.au/get-involved/what-is-on/world-asthma-day/)
  4. World Asthma Day - National Health Portal of India - (https://www.nhp.gov.in/world-asthma-day_pg)

Source: Medindia

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