Asthma: The condition and its prevalence
Asthma is a lung disorder. When the small airways get inflamed and contract in the respiratory tract due to contact with some allergens, Asthma condition occurs and the allergens are known as Asthma Triggers. Asthma is also called as Bronchial Asthma.
As per the WHO’s 2014 report, India has the highest number of deaths because of lung diseases and unfortunately, we rank 14th when it comes to demises due to the medical condition- bronchial asthma.
Nearly 300 million people worldwide are suffering miserably from asthma. It’s estimated that the number will continue to elevate and by 2025 more than 400 million people worldwide will be suffering from the respiratory disease. India has nearly 15-20 million people suffering from Asthma, which concludes that India’s share in the world’s asthmatics is around 5 %.
Some of the most common asthma triggers are:
• House Dust Mite – Most people are allergic to these tiny tangible dust mites settled in carpets, cushions, windows and fans.
• Food Items – Food items such as- eggs, peanuts, soybeans, cow's milk, prawns, sulphites, food preservatives and fish can trigger asthma in certain people.
• Certain Medicines – Respiratory infections and related medicines like beta blockers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs- aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. can make someone an asthmatic.
• Smoking & Fumes – Smoking & cigarette fumes, cleaning products, sprays and even paint smell can cause respiratory problems.
• Pollution & Climate Change – Air pollution is one of the key reasons for asthma in India. Chilled days, inhaling hot air, thunderstorms and even humid weather can lead to asthma.
• Exercise and Emotions – Some of the physical exercises can be dangerous for an asthma patient. Various emotional states such as anxiety, anger, restlessness and depression and even stress can cause asthma.
• Hereditary – It is not always the case, but one might inherit and develop asthma from one of their parents. It is not contagious though.
• Animals & Pet – A daily close contact with animals and pets can trigger allergy at any stage. Furry animals are the most common triggers along with cats, dogs, birds and horses.
• Female Hormones – Hormonal changes occur in women during puberty, monthly periods, pregnancy and menopause. Such changes affect the respiratory tract, though the scientific reasons have not been established.
• Pollen – Insects and the wind are responsible for spreading the pollens. When coming in contact with pollen, it can lead to health problems in many, such as cough, cold and even asthma.
• And Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Seek professional help in the following conditions:
• Severe breathlessness and wheezing • Unable to speak long phrases due to shortness in breathing • Chest pain • Nails and lips turn blue due to breathing issues • Coughing • Constant fatigue • No improvement from Inhale
World Asthma Day
Established in 1998 by Global Initiative for Asthma, World Asthma Day is an annual affair organized on the first Tuesday of May.