Hyderabad, 30.4.19: With the aim to dispel myths and fears regarding asthma and encourage those affected by this condition to live a life without limits, with World Asthma Day, let’s eliminate the stigma around inhalation therapy and make it more socially acceptable and help foster further dialogue between patients and their physicians.
Asthma is a chronic (long term) disease usually characterized by airway inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which can vary over time. It is estimated that in at local doctors on a daily basis see an average of around 40 patients suffering from asthma/respiratory diseases. Out of these a majority are men (60%) with the pediatric asthma segment has seen a significant increase on a year on year basis (doctors reckon they see an estimated 25-30 new cases of children with asthma every month). On average until the date in 2018, there has seen a 5% increase in the number of people suffering from asthma as compared to last year. Meanwhile, the number of patients using inhalation therapy has increased in the last few years, an estimated 20% of asthmatics discontinue inhaler use largely during their pre-teen and teenage years.
The reasons for the prevalence of asthma can be attributed to air pollution to the increase in air particulate matters, smoking, incorrect treatment in children, seasonal variations causing viral infections such as common flu and largely ignorance amongst parents.
Speaking on the occasion of World Asthma Day, Dr.PNS Reddy, Pulmonologist, Yashodha Hospital said, “It is very significant to change the perception towards Asthma and Inhalation Therapy. While inhalation treatment can play a crucial role in reducing the impact of asthma on people’s lives, compliance is crucial. Inhaled medicines help to deliver the drugs directly to the lungs. But we need patients to adopt the treatment as they are prescribed in order to get the full benefit. Inhalation therapy works to control asthma by preventing & relieving symptoms and reducing flare-ups, but they will work if patients work in partnership with their GP and take them in the way they are prescribed.”
It is important to note that symptom-free is NOT asthma free. This remains one of the biggest challenges to the management of asthma when there is discontinuation of the medication once the symptoms have subsided. This can be majorly to save the cost of the medication. Unfortunately, this may result in the aggravation of the disease and chances are that symptoms may flare up anytime - this time with double impact. It is important to understand being symptom-free does not mean one is free of the disease. Always, consult a doctor before taken such steps. Asthma requires long-term treatment. Many patients once they feel better to stop taking their inhalers. This can be dangerous since discontinuing treatment means stopping the very thing that is keeping them fit and healthy. Patients should consult their doctor on each and everything that stops them from not continuing inhalers rather than taking a decision which can be dangerous.
According to Dr. Suman kumar C, Director &Consultant Pediatrician and Pediatric Allergist , Ankura Hospital, “Ongoing education is of paramount importance in chronic diseases like asthma. This is precisely where #BerokZindagi will lead to “Winning against Asthma” and will enable patients to participate and have a more effective role in their own treatment, working together with doctors to achieve optimal inhaler use and disease control, thereby living life to the fullest. While encouraging an increased dialogue on the management of asthma, lets us mark World Asthma Day to directly resonate with our endeavor of enabling people with the condition to achieve more in their daily lives.”