Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Why Asthma is on Rise

asthma inhalersThere are few things in life that we take for granted—sunshine, change of seasons, and breath. Since the last two decades there has been a huge increase in number of asthma patients and deaths owing to this condition. This means that no longer we can remain carefree about our breath when seasons change. According to Russel B. Leftwich of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology asthma incidences have doubled form 8.5 million to 17 million between 1980 and 1998.

Asthma starves you of breath. An attack of asthma feels like a cold slap of air to your lungs. As a result the tiniest part of our lungs—bronchioles restrict and each breath becomes an exercise. Actually, the asthma patients have more difficulty in breathing out rather than breathing in and it is caused by a spasm of the smaller air passage in the lung. Asthma has no cure, but we can manage it well and live a healthy life.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, 300 million people suffer from asthma.
• Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
• Asthma affects rich and poor countries alike. Over 80% of asthma deaths occurs in low and lower-middle income countries.
• Asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated, creating a substantial burden to individuals and families and possibly restricting individuals’ activities for a lifetime.

• Allergic asthma – Caused by airway inflammation when exposed to allergens
• Exercised-induced asthma – Airways narrow when triggered by vigorous activity
• Cough-variant asthma – A chronic, persistent cough without shortness of breath
• Occupational asthma– Related to working in a particular occupational environment. Symptoms are more severe while at work during the exposure.

The onset of asthma may be sudden or gradual. Sudden onsets are often preceeded by a spell of coughing. When the onset is gradual, the attack is usually brought on by respiratory infection. A severe attack causes an increase in heartbeat and respiratory rate and the patient feels restless and fatigued. WHO factsheet on asthma says that asthma deaths will increase by almost 20% in the next 10 years if urgent action is not taken. A huge increase in the number of asthmatics in the last thirty years intrigues researchers. Dr. Shalini Nawal Jain, Consultant Pulmonologist at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon says, “Increase in number of asthma patients is possibly because people not only acknowledge their allergic problems but are ready to take treatment for this. Moreover, better diagnostic techniques and understanding of asthma enables a doctor to diagnose the problem too. Besides, we cannot rule out the lifestyle factors”
Other definite clues–
• Women who smoke during pregnancy put their babies at a higher risk of getting asthma.
• Air pollutants can cause a significant amount of oxidative stress in the respiratory tract.
• When you smoke you put your nasal passage way and your lungs literally under attack.
Researchers have stumbled on few clues—
• Harvard researchers have found that pollen grains and fungal spores in out-door air correlates with asthma attacks. It is no coincidence that asthma attacks increase after thunderstorms because pollen concentrations increase. High-speed winds have an increased concentration of pollen too.
• New research studies say bottle-feeding babies before putting them to bed increases risk factors for developing asthma, particularly if the baby has a family history of asthma and allergies. These findings are published in the Dec. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• Dr. John A Burgess of the University of Melbourne Australia has found that little overweight girls have higher incidence of turning asthmatic when they grow up. His findings were recorded in European Respiratory Journal.

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One Response

January 31, 2011

Thanks for sharing this post. We should aware of this information. Please keep sharing new updates for it.

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