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Knowing The Importance Of World Asthma Day

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

About World Asthma day

World Asthma Day is an annual event celebrated on the first Tuesday of May, organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). This day is celebrated to spread awareness about asthma, a critical health issue on the rise around the globe. It gives a platform where people and organizations can discuss ideas and thoughts and come up with solutions to fight this health concern. 

What is Asthma? The causes and symptoms

Asthma is a chronic condition in which your airways tend to get narrow, swollen and may even produce extra mucus making it difficult to breathe properly. Asthma is not the same for all, the symptoms vary from person to person, it may be a minor problem for some, while for others, it can be a major health problem that interferes with daily life and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. 

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu

Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

  • Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
  • Increasing difficulty breathing, as measured with a device used to check how well your lungs are working (peak flow meter)
  • The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

The causes and triggers for asthma can be many, including

  • Family history of the disease
  • Exposure to pollution
  • Smoking 
  • Viral respiratory infections 
  • Obesity 
  • Stress
  • Gastrointestinal reflux

Asthma symptoms flare up during intense workouts or exercise, especially when the air is cold and dry, occupational asthma is triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases and allergy-induced asthma is very common, which happens due to airborne substances like pollen, mold spores, dust, cockroach waste, etc. 

Asthma Treatment

There are a few tests to check your lung function, as well as some imaging tests, allergy tests, methacholine challenge and nitric oxide tests that your doctor may suggest to diagnose the condition. Asthma is a chronic condition with no cure but, reducing exposure to triggers and understanding long-term management is the key. Certain medications, inhalers and steroids may be recommended by the doctor to manage your symptoms effectively. Asthma symptoms often change over time which is why it is important to stay in touch with your doctor, discuss your symptoms and adjust your treatment accordingly.

Asthma Prevention

While it is true that you cannot prevent asthma, there are ways you can make living with asthma easier and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.

  • To manage an asthma attack take medicines provided by your doctor and follow a plan of action because this health condition needs regular monitoring and taking control of your life.
  • Stay updated with vaccinations to prevent flu and pneumonia which can trigger asthma flare-ups.
  • Know and avoid your asthma triggers. 
  • Visit the doctor for regular checkups because asthma symptoms may change. 
  • If you act quickly, you’re less likely to have a severe asthma attack. 
  • Pay attention to how much you rely on your quick-relief inhaler and discuss it with your doctor.

Facts about Asthma

All over the world, there are several people suffering from asthma, while some address the health issue, some do not even opt for treatment. Here are some of the facts about asthma:

  • Asthma is a major noncommunicable disease (NCD), which can affect both children and adults.
  • In children, boys are more likely to develop asthma than girls, whereas, in adults, women are more likely than men.
  • Asthma affected an estimated 262 million people in 2019 and caused 461000 deaths.
  • Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
  • In the last decade, the number of people with asthma increased by 15%
  • WHO is committed to improving the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of asthma.

Theme of World Asthma Day 2022

Every year GINA comes up with a relevant theme keeping in mind the current situation of asthma worldwide. ‘Closing Gaps in Asthma Care’ is the theme for the 2022 World Asthma Day. There are a number of loose ends in asthma care which must be looked at on priority to prevent suffering. Some of the things to consider are:

  • Equal access to diagnosis and treatment
  • Care for different socioeconomic, ethnic and age groups
  • Closing gaps between wealthy and poorer communities and countries
  • Proper communication and education provided for all 
  • Asthma knowledge and awareness between health care providers
  • Prescribing inhalers, monitoring adherence and checking the ability to use these devices

World Asthma Day is an ideal day to address the gaps in asthma treatment, it gives us an opportunity to discuss the health issue, talk about the challenges and find solutions. Each and everyone must be able to breathe freely and live a healthy life. It is essential for patients and health care providers to identify the concern and help implement and share innovative solutions for it both locally and globally.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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