There are around 300 million people suffering from Asthma in the world & in India especially, the National burden accrues to 18 million. Even in a well-developed country like the US, every day around 10 people die of Asthma, which can very well be avoided. Thus, the right re-definition of the disease, its diagnosis, and treatment is the need of the hour.
Asthma is not a single disease, it is an umbrella of symptoms described by one-term called “inflammation” which results in swelling of the entire airway. This can, in turn, result in a range of symptoms such as wheeze- a musical hiss, shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough and difficulty to speak and sleep. These symptoms might occur through the day or night and at night it might also disturb sleep.
It is seen both in adults and kids, generally, children who find it difficult to sleep at night should be evaluated for asthma. Sometimes asthma might manifest itself as a severe attack and may require urgent attention.
Now you might have a question on, what causes Asthma? Pollution happens to be the main causative of Asthma. The urbanization of today, which is associated with alarming levels of vehicle emissions, industrial pollution and the burning of waste are the major contributors to the increasing incidence of asthma. Studies show that 40% of asthmatics suffer from acute episodes when exposed to polluted air and are rushed to the emergency room.
Lately, pigeons are linked to heterogeneity diseases like asthma, lung fibrosis, and microbial infections. Asthma is also said to be caused by other factors such as allergens like pollens, irritants such as cigarette smoke, certain foods, infections, changes in weather and also triggered by exercise.
Asthma cannot be taken lightly; it has to diagnosed and managed well. Many might raise a question can Asthma be cured? Asthma is triggered by multiple factors and is a chronic disease, this condition can only be managed well.
The key factors for effective management of Asthma are
- A good pulmonologist who knows your history
- Consistent medication
- Persistence to stay away from triggers once identified.
Having understood, ‘Asthma’ can only be managed. You might ask, how is Asthma diagnosed? Diagnosis of asthma is done by the doctor by getting to understand your symptoms, severity, and duration. The degree of airway obstruction is studied by the doctor through a pulmonary function test. Once the extent of severity is understood clearly by the doctor treatment is commenced.
Usually, treatment for Asthma is prescribed in the formed of relievers and controllers. Reliever medication is intended to give a short-term control of the asthma attack, while the controllers are destined to give long-term control for persistent asthma.
If you or your loved one is suffering from symptoms mentioned above such as a persistent cough, wheeze, chest tightness, disturbed sleep due to breathing difficulty get in touch with a Pulmonologist immediately. Understand the triggers to your condition, follow the recommendations and treatment protocol suggested by your Pulmonologist diligently. This simple effort can enable you to manage Asthma- the silent killer efficiently.
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