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World Asthma Day Breathe easier with an asthma management plan

Date : May 01, 2017

World Asthma Day, celebrated on the first Tuesday of May every year, is a chance to sensitize people about this agonizing respiratory ailment and the dangers it poses. This year’s theme, ‘You can control your asthma’, highlights the perilous nature of the disease and how it can be effectively managed. According to WHO, asthma currently affects 235 million people in the world. The number of people suffering from this condition in India is estimated at 1 million.

This World Asthma Day, Dr Vikas Maurya, Sr. Consultant & HOD, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh encourages you to understand Asthma & Tips to manage the same in a holistic manner

Causes:

  • Indoor allergens (dust mites in beddings, moulds, pet dander)
  • Outdoor allergens (pollens from grass, trees and weeds)
  • Tobacco smoke (Active & Passive smoking)
  • Chemical irritants, fumes, strong odour
  • Cold air or extremely dry, wet or windy weather
  • Extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear
  • Strenuous Physical exercise
  • Certain medications ( aspirin, NSAIDs, Beta blockers, ACE inhibitors)

Early Symptoms & Diagnosis

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest tightness
  • Early awakening
  • Night-time symptoms
  • Throat irritation
  • Anxiety

Managing Asthma at Home

  • Take regular medications
  • Medication should always be within the reach of the person
  • Avoid asthma triggers (indoor allergens / Smoking)
  • Improve air quality at home by regular cleaning of house and air filters if necessary
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion
  • Flu and pneumonia vaccine to prevent them from triggeringasthma
  • Pay attention to increasing use of quick-relief inhaler (suggest impending attack)
  • Monitor the  breathing pattern

 Precautions Parents and Teachers should observe at School for Asthmatic children

  • Reviewing  child’s Asthma Action Plan with the teacher and  school nurse
  • Emphasis to avoid chalk dust & Exercise induced asthma
  • Ensuring a responsible adult knows how to administer the child’s control and emergency medications.
  • Making the  child carry his/her medications to school
  • Assuring  that the  child understands what they should do when they need medications

Asthma Management at workplace

  • Keeping an  inhaler in  office
  • Avoid  venturing  into smoking rooms
  • Control on amount of stress and anxiety felt at work
  • Removal of exposure to toxins and harmful chemical gases
  • Employers to provide a comprehensive treatment plan to ensure the wellbeing of the employees
  • Adhering to the occupational safety hazard standards                       

Several lifestyle changes also need to be adopted to combat Asthma, while ensuring one has balanced meals and a proper diet with mild exercises or Yoga, Counselling and help should also be given to enable people to embrace a positive and productive lifestyle. Although asthma cannot be cured, appropriate management can control the disease and enable people to enjoy good quality of life.

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