World Asthma Day: Guidelines To Prevent Asthma Attacks
World Asthma Day 2018: World Asthma Day is celebrated on the first Tuesday of May each year to raise awareness, care and support for those affected by the lung condition.
World Asthma Day 2018: May is observed as Asthma Awareness Month
On this day, WHO released a report about the number of deaths caused due to lung diseases in which India ranked first with 5% of the world's asthmatics come from India. This is not a good sign which can be regulated to refer the pollution levels in the country. Delhi has seen the worst of pollution in 2017.
The sales of anti-asthma medicines in India went up 43% over the past four years, shows market data, with 2016 marking a 15% growth in anti-asthma prescriptions across children and adults. According to a report by WHO, India ranks first when it comes to the number of deaths due to lung disease, and is 14th on the list when it comes to those who die due to bronchial asthma.
The report added that India has an estimated 15-20 million asthmatics. The WHO also states that 300 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. Some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.
Delhi, the national capital of India, is among the world's most polluted cities, with the air pollution levels spiking far beyond safety limits. According to a WHO survey of 1600 world cities, Delhi's air quality is the worst in the world. However, two other Indian cities - Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, and Raipur in Chhattisgarh - were have worse air quality than Delhi. It is said that 13 of the 25 cities worldwide with the highest levels of PM are in India.
Air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India, claiming 1.5 million lives every year. In the national capital alone, poor quality air damages irreversibly the lungs of 2.2 million or 50 percent of all children. As Delhi's air pollution levels increase, cases of severe breathlessness, asthma and allergy have sharply risen in the national capital.
World Asthma Day: Coping With Asthma
Asthma is a respiratory disorder that causes narrowing of the air passages due to a variety of reasons such as allergens like dust, fumes and smoke. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, feeling of tightness in the chest, cough and wheeze. At present there is no cure for asthma, though symptoms can be controlled by medications such as steroids and bronchodilators either orally or as inhalers.
Awareness about the condition can help us reduce if not totally prevent suffering from an asthma attack. Following an action plan can go a long way in reducing the severity and frequency of attacks. Some of the measures that we can follow include:
- Have a management plan chalked out in consultation with your health care professional
- Avoid known triggers such as smoke, dust, pollen, cold and irritants
- Be up-to-date with your pneumonia and flu vaccinations
- Stay indoors during the humid and change of seasons
- Do not use fans in closed and dusty places
- Cover mattresses and pillows with plastic covers. Wash the bedding in hot water every week.
- Take your asthma medications regularly
- Carry your medications and inhalers whenever you travel
- Learn to identify attacks in the early stage and take measures immediately
- Breathing exercises may help reduce and even prevent asthma attacks if followed regularly
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