World Asthma Day (WAD) is observed on the first Tuesday of May every year, it is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma, GINA in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness, care, support and available treatment options for asthma. This year is the 23rd annual World Asthma Day where GINA has organized several events to educate the public about this condition globally. Asthma is one of the major public health problems of importance, as per WHO it is estimated that more than 339 million people are affected by this disease and about 417918 had lost their lives due to asthma globally. Though asthma cannot be completely cured, it is quite possible to control asthma, mitigate symptoms and avert asthma exacerbations or attacks.
The theme for this year’s World Asthma Day is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”. The GINA emphasis a call to action to address the widely prevailing myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that impede individual suffering from this condition to avail optimal benefits from the latest advancement in the management of asthma. Let’s know about the common misconceptions surrounding asthma:
Asthma is a childhood problem, individuals will come out of it as they age.
No, asthma can develop at any age in children, adolescents, and the elderly.
Myth # 2
Asthma is infectious
No, asthma is not an infectious disease, but viral respiratory infections like the common cold or the flu can trigger asthma attacks. However, in children, asthma is mostly associated with allergies, and asthma that develops in adulthood is less often allergic.
Asthmatics should not exercise
When asthma is well under control, a person suffering from this condition can very well exercise and even perform a sport.
Asthma is only manageable with high dose steroids
No, asthma can be very well controlled with low-dose inhaled steroids.
Amidst this Pandemic situation, we need to be more watchful about how to effectively manage asthma. As per statistics about 2 % of the adults and 6 % of children in India are diagnosed with asthma and the numbers are increasing each year. With the number of COVID-19 cases surging at an alarming rate, people suffering from asthma may be more stressed and anxious about how it will impact their health. Read through this article to get an insight on ways to manage asthma and COVID-19.
Effective Ways To Control Asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung disorder that damages the airways and causes inflammation, which leads to wheezing, breathlessness, and coughing. Respiratory viral diseases like COVID-19 can trigger and worsen asthma symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can also lead to pneumonia in people with moderate to severe asthma. However, clinically there is no evidence suggesting that people with asthma are more likely to contract Coronavirus than the general population. Furthermore, the CDC also states that if people with uncontrolled asthma do contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus they may be at an increased risk of developing complications from COVID-19 than others.
Steps to protect yourself from COVID-19
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine shot when it is available.
- Wear a mask that properly covers your nose and mouth.
- Maintain social distancing and stay at least 6 feet distance while at public places.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol several times in a day
- Avoid all non-essential travel
- If anyone in your home is sick, home quarantine the person to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Tips To Manage Asthma
Ensure that asthma is under control by following these precautionary measures:
- Stay away from your asthma triggers.
- Continue having your regular asthma medications including inhalers with steroids
- Never discontinue any medications or change asthma treatment plant without talking to your physician
- Stock at home your emergency supply of prescription medications such as inhalers and other drugs. Make sure you also maintain a stock of non-prescription medications and essentials on hand.
- Be very cautious while using any cleaning agents and disinfectants.