World Asthma Day: Tips to fight breathlessness


According to World Health Organization, India has an estimated 15-20 million asthmatics. If data is to be believed, 25 per cent of the Indian population suffers from allergy and 5 per cent of them are suffering from asthma. Also, estimates suggest that by the year 2025, an additionally 100 million people will be asthmatic across the globe.

Asthma can affect any age group but it normally starts in early years. Recurrent breathlessness, wheezing are some of the common signs and symptoms, the severity of which can vary from person to person. It occurs due to inflammation of air passages in the lungs and can irritate the nerve endings in the airways. During an asthma attack, the lining of this passage swells, narrowing the airway and reducing air flow in and out of the lungs.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of asthma, it is believed that it happens by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. The saddest part is that asthma cannot be cured but can be controlled.

Some asthma reactions are triggered by external allergens such as pollen, dust etc and others occur due to inhalation of certain chemical agents like cigarette smoke or paint vapours. It also worsens at times due to stress or chest infection.

Curofy, India’s largest community of doctors conducted a poll asking doctors what they thought was the main reason for prevalence of childhood asthma in India. Out of the 1040 doctors who were polled, 82 per cent say that there has been an increased asthma incidence in children due to increased environmental pollution. Also 11 per cent of the doctors polled for second and first hand smoking and 7 per cent chose genetic predilection as the leading cause for increased childhood asthma.

Dr Anshum Aneja Arora, consultant W-Pratiksha hospital, Gurgaon says, “More than a million people are suffering from asthma; it is highly common in all ages. Incidence is on rise because of recent changes in our global environment. Air pollution and particulate dust matters are on rise. It requires regular pulmonary evaluation like spirometry followed by proper medication to prevent further complications.”

Levels of PM 2.5 virus, one of most deadly forms of pollutants recorded in the Delhi air, is 10 times higher than the safety limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation. Much to our dismay, a recent study pointed out that not only outdoor air but indoor air is also highly polluted these days. This is where air purifiers come in. Panasonic air purifiers come with Nanoe technology and Composite air filter (CAF) that inhibit bacteria and viruses and improve air quality. CAF can inhibit 17 kinds of virus, bacteria and allergens up to 99 per cent.

A very common myth associated with asthma is that it is not fatal. WHO states that of the 300 million people who suffer from asthma, 25,000 of them died due to the disorder in 2005. This makes it all the more important to fight the condition by altering your lifestyle.

Stay away from polluted areas: Wear masks in polluted areas and stay away from known triggers such as pollen, bird droppings or paint fumes.

 Quit smoking: If you are an asthmatic, smoking will only worsen the condition,Pop vitamin pills: You will need vitamins that will up your immune system and ensure that you don’t fall prey to cold and cough infections every change of season.
 Use air purifiers: Air purifiers can help clean the air in your house. Sometimes indoor pollution also triggers unwarranted reactions and they can be avoided to a greater extent with air purifiers.
Adhere to asthma medication: Do not suddenly stop asthma medication. It can lead to allergic reactions.

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