Every new advancement has been adding to the development of the human race and its comfort but at the same time, it has also been either adding to the distress and variety of illness or simply triggering them. The proportion of the rising level of pollution and the triggers of Asthma has been a cause of distress since the idea of development has taken place. Talking about Asthma and its aggravating causes, this is one of the major reasons one needs to more understand. Although there is no apparent cause of the occurrence of asthma these environmental factors we surely need to work upon. According to WHO Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
The WHO also confirms that Asthma affected an estimated 262 million people in 2019 and caused 461000 deaths. Considering these facts changes at massive levels are expected to be introduced. WHO also states that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019, at the same it says that over 80% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The same organisation says that most asthma-related deaths occur in low- and lower-middle-income countries, where under-diagnosis and under-treatment is a challenge.
Meta-analysis of facts about Asthma and COPD somehow reflect the severity of the diseases and the worsening condition of the world. In order to deal with the diseases, one needs to be well informed about the causes and remedies of the diseases:-
What is Asthma?
Asthma is about swelled and narrowed airways producing more mucus, which can present in severe coughing, breathing difficulty and other types of respiratory distresses. The constant coughing and breathlessness can prove to be life-threatening if not treated. Asthma is incurable but the quality of life can be upgraded with proper treatment.
Symptoms of Asthma:-
- Shortness of breath
- mucus coughing
- Compromised capacity of lungs
The prevalent symptoms may worsen with the worsening condition of the patient.
Causes of Asthma:-
The causes of asthma are not unknown. But we are surely aware of its triggering factors which can be managed with time, up to some extent they should be dealt in a way like they are the causes. Such triggers are:-
- Smoking:- Smoking is dangerous for overall health; it is surely not advisable for any patient suffering from respiratory disease.
- Heavy physical activity:- it should be noted that rigorous workout can trigger an asthma attack. Hence people who want to have an ideal fitness routine should consult their doctor first.
- Air pollution:- this is one of the major reasons adding to the respiratory distress in the entire world. We have no idea the toxic elements present in the environment are unknowingly damaging our lungs and posing risk to our overall wellbeing. Here it is worth mentioning that people who are conscious about their health are also exposed to it, which is very unfortunate. It surely needs to be dealt at broader level. It needs an inclusive approach.
- Pollution at work:- Exposure to occupational pollution, it means people who work in factories or other industrial plants where they are exposed to toxic gases are prone to risk of triggering Asthma.
- Family history:– family history of Asthma can also be a key factor of its occurrence. Hence keep an eye on your family history of diseases and maintain your lifestyle accordingly.
Considering the causes mentioned above we really need to think about the life pattern we are following, because people with healthy habits are also at the risk of COPD because of other people’s idea of development. We need to rethink about our ideas of development which comes at the risk of health and wellbeing.
An asthma patient should always carry his or her prescribed medicine wherever they go and take on scheduled time. They should also have inhalers in their bag for emergency. In short they should know their triggers and be regular with treatment.
Difference between Asthma and COPD?
Usually, Asthma and COPD are either confused or considered to be same. Although both are respiratory diseases and can be equally severe for patients, and both have almost similar initial symptoms and discomforts like breathlessness, coughing, fatigue, congestion is chest. Children may severely suffer from asthma but COPD majorly develops almost after 40 years of age while asthma can occur at any stage. Also the major difference in both diseases is that COPD is irreversible while asthma can be cured and COPD is a progressive disease while Asthma occurs due to allergic reactions.
Treatment of Asthma:-
From regular medication to an emergency, the treatment of asthma varies as per the seriousness of the patient. Being not curable one is suggested to be in regular contact with concerned doctors and know the triggers.
Prevention from Asthma:-
As mentioned earlier that the causes of the occurrence of asthma are unknown but this also true that its triggering factors can be dealt with wisely, so that is rather is easy to have a quality of life even with Asthma.
Quit smoking:- many studies confirm that mere quitting smoking potentially leaves a significant difference to the lungs and overall wellbeing of a person. Hence leave this habit today and witness the noteworthy difference.
Save yourselves from cold:– Getting exposed to cold air can trigger an asthma patient. Hence in case of worsening health condition, one should avoid cold places to visit.
Mild Workout:- apart from building muscles exercising daily is much needed for proper functioning of the lungs. But in case of an asthma patient one needs to be more aware because rigorous physical activity can trigger Asthma attack. Hence one should consult doctor before adopting any workout schedule. Add a set of exercise to your lifestyle as per your concerned doctor’s suggestion and save your lungs.
Healthy lifestyle:- nothing can be more effective in reducing the risk of diseases than a proper healthy lifestyle. Follow a set of exercises daily, take good nutritious food, keep your water intake high and maintain your sleep cycle.
Routine check-ups:- as mentioned above family history of diseases can add to the risk of suffering from a number of diseases. Hence timely check-ups can help in early diagnosis and reduce the risk; also routine check-ups can help in catching any developing diseases at early stage.
Take extra care of children in regards to the above.
This article is authored by Dr. Nitin Rathi, Senior Consultant – Pulmonology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi