The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a World Health Organization collaborative organization was founded in the year 1993. The first Tuesday of May month is observed as the World Asthma Day (WAD) globally.
In short, asthma is a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
To know more about asthma, Fit Northeast had a conversation with Dr Moitreyee Kalita, who is an MD in pulmonary medicine at the Downtown hospital in Guwahati.
As explained by Dr Kalita, asthma is hyper-responsive airways. All human beings respond differently to different situations like when there is a cold raft of air, when we sit under the fan or when we have ice-cream. We respond differently to the cold and asthma takes that responses too much. In some situations the airways starts secreting fluid or mucus and the airways go into spasm (it becomes narrow). When they get exposed to various triggering situations like smoking a cigarette (or someone inhaling the smoke nearby), sudden weather change or any exhaust from huge vehicles. As a result of such triggers, the people start experiencing cough and breading difficulty (as because the airways become narrow).
So, asthma is an episodic disease. In most of the cases it happens that the patient have complains only in certain times of the year. It is not a constant or continuous disease. This usually escapes people's notice. As many people have the conception that people having asthma will have severe breathing difficulty or are dependent on inhalers, so they generally do not approach the doctor when some minor symptoms like a cough(which occurs at regular intervals during the year), only (light) breathing difficulty(or both cough and breathing difficulty might be together) are seen. In some patients, there might be simple rhinitis (or in simple language, a running nose). Rhinitis, food allergy, and migraine are a part of the hyper-responsive body.
In short, asthma is a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.Whenever people suffer from such complains, they must get themselves tested through tests like pulmonary function test, some clinical examinations. The medical and family history of the person plays an important role in the detection of asthma in the patient.
Asthma can be prevented by regular and corrected use of the inhalers. It's a very treatable and preventable disease, provided it is diagnosed early.
It was informed that like all other body parts, our lung also grows and after a certain age of 30, the lung function declines. The percentage of this decline is 1 to 2% per year. But in case of the asthmatics (or children who had repeated infections/ or adults who have been through a similar situation), the adult lung maturity is not attained and after the age of 30 the rate of decline is more. So in short, the airways never reach the optimum size and even when they decline, they become more narrow. So eventually at the age of 40 or 50, they have the lungs which are of the age of 70 to 90.
Asthma is a preventable disease, it is important that the patient should know how to manage it. Better management of the above-mentioned health conditions will prevent from the patient's repeated visits to the doctor.
On the occasion of World Asthma Day, a health camp was organized at the Downtown hospital, where around 50 patients were free registration along with clinical checkup and spirometry tests. Dr Kalita examined all the patients.