World Asthma Day – 3 May
World Asthma Day is observed on the first Tuesday in May by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. May is Asthma Awareness Month, a time to educate friends, family, and patients about asthma and promote awareness about how this serious, sometimes life-threatening, chronic respiratory disease can be controlled.
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily . There’s no permanent cure for asthma but it can be controlled and managed if needed precautions and medications are taken. Activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
GINA has chosen ‘Closing Gaps in Asthma Care’ as the theme for the 2022 World Asthma Day.
The first World Asthma Day was observed in 1998. It started as an endeavor by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), World Health Organization (WHO) collaborative and a medical guidelines organization setup in 1993. WAD is held each May to raise awareness of Asthma worldwide. WHO recognizes that asthma is of major public health importance. According to WHO, it was estimated that more than 339 million people had Asthma globally and there were 417,918 deaths due to asthma at the global level in 2016.
Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and works to improve quality of life for people suffering with asthma around the world. GINA brings together healthcare professionals and public health experts in campaigns to discuss asthma guidelines and reduce the global prevalence, morbidity and mortality of asthma.
Common misconceptions surrounding asthma include:
- Asthma is a childhood disease; individuals will grow out of it as they age.
- Asthma is infectious.
- Asthma sufferers should not exercise.
- Asthma is only controllable with high dose steroids.
The Truth is:
- Asthma can occur at any age (in children, adolescents, adults and elderly)
- Asthma is not infectious. However, viral respiratory infections (such as common cold and the flu) can cause asthma attacks. Or In children, asthma is frequently associated with allergy, but asthma which starts adulthood is less often allergic.
- When asthma is well controlled, asthma subjects are able to exercise and even perform top sport.
- Asthma is most often controllable with low dose inhaled steroids
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. With so many day-to-day triggers including weather, exercise and even food, it’s important to understand how to best manage and control asthma. 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.
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.
You can learn more about the event on the World Asthma Day official website here. www.ginasthma.org/wad.
Suggested Read: No Smoking Day