by Sujatha Nanjundeshwara | 26 DEC 2017
A scary lung disease that makes it difficult for you to do a simple thing like, breathe. Yes, we are speaking about asthma. Dr. Vyakar Nam Nageshwar, consultant pulmonologist at Durgabai Deshmukh Hospital explains that right lifestyle choices is important to lead a healthy life.
Children as young as 10-14 years and elderly aged between 75-79 years, suffer from asthma, as per the Global Asthma Report, 2014. To most of us, winters mean wearing woolens, hot mugs of coffee and basking in sunrays while to asthmatic patients, it’s a season full of despair. Breathing in the chilly air triggers their symptoms and having a cold or flu only makes them feel worse; heavy cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest and even the inability to speak in full sentences are all well known side effects.
1. What are some of the common reasons why asthma occurs?
Causes of Asthma in children:
Globally, it’s a common chronic disorder; affecting about 7.1 million children under 18 years of age.
There are several myths surrounding the causes of asthma in children. And no, neither is family history responsible for it nor is the illness a communicable disease.
A simple explanation is that the lining of the airway passage, through which air moves in & out, gets swollen for asthmatic children.
Phlegm or sticky mucus cause further blocks.
Cold winter air, leads the airways to tighten further all of which, make breathing a forced, laborious task.
Asthma in adults:
Adult asthma sufferers can be classified into 2 categories; smokers and non- smokers.
With each puff of a cigarette, smokers inhale irritants present in the tobacco smoke which settle in the moist linings of the airways triggering asthma attacks.
In the long run, these irritants damage thin hair like structures called cilia allowing dust and mucus to pile up in the airways.
A study published in PUBMED in 2006, concluded that smokers are at a high risk of suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease). Smokers are also twice as likely to suffer from asthma attacks vis-a- vis non- smokers.
2. How should asthma be treated?
Treatment for children: Again, don’t get taken in by myths surrounding asthma treatment for children. Neither fish therapy, nor alternative medicine or yoga can prevent asthma attacks.
3.What works best is Inhalation therapy?
Inhalation therapy: According to Dr. Pardyut Waghray, MD, Apollo Hospital, Jubilee Hill, Prof of Pulmonary Medicines, SVS Medical College, Mahabub Nagar, inhalation therapy works best for
It’s safe: An inhaler pump administers corticosteroids, which are a copy of the steroids produced by our body to deal with inflammation and are absolutely safe for children.
There is no drug overdose: The child inhales only a small quantity, about 25 to 100 micrograms and the inflammation in the airways subsides. Whereas if the child pops a pill or a tablet, he/she ends up taking over 200 times the required dosage!
Asthmatic treatment for adults:
Inhalation therapy works best for adults too! Since the drug is directly delivered to the body site where it’s required instead of where it is not, it produces quick action and reduces the risk of over dosage.
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