World Asthma Day 2024: Know the causes, symptoms and precautions about this long-term disease

According to the data given by M. 2023, 35 million people are suffering from asthma in India, which is roughly 3% of the total population. So, it can be stated that the disease is quite common in India. Today is World Asthma Day, and this topic has become more relevant than ever. It is high time to create and spread awareness about this disease today. So, in this blog, we will inform you about the causes, symptoms and precautions of this long-term disease so that you can make informed decisions regarding this disease and connect with Neotia Getwel Multispecialty Hospital for 24*7 emergency care and world-class treatment.

1. What is asthma?

Asthma is a special medical condition in which the airways of the patient get narrower and swell up, which may produce extra mucus. This makes the breathing work extremely difficult for the patient and he or she is forced to take the oxygen by mouth. This difficult breathing produces a lot of wheezing, coughing and a whistling sound (wheezing) when the patient breathes out. It also causes a lot of shortness of breath.

For some people, it has been a minor issue for a long time. However, depending on the patient, it can become a major health issue and can create an issue in daily life as well.

On this topic, it is important to inform people that asthma is not curable at all. However, it can be controlled with the right medical support.

Asthma can change over time as well. So, it is important to get screened at a regular interval.

2. What are the symptoms of asthma?

The symptoms of asthma also differ from patient to patient. Many times the patient gets asthma attacks, while some of the patients face issues only during exercise or heavy work. However, there are some other common asthma symptoms as well. The symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

However, getting screened only once for asthma is not enough. One should understand that their asthma is getting worse with some of the specific symptoms. The symptoms are:

  • Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
  • Increasing difficulty breathing, as measured with a device used to check how well your lungs are working (peak flow meter)
  • The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often
3. What are the causes of asthma?

Some people are born with asthma. However, after birth or with age, one can also develop asthma and there are many reasons for it. The causes of asthma are:

  • a. Allergies: People who are prone to allergies can develop asthma with time.
  • b. Respiratory infections: Certain respiratory infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), can damage young children’s developing lungs.
  • c. Environmental factors: The place you are, or the patient living in, plays a huge role in asthma. Someone who does not have asthma can develop asthma with time if they get exposed to many substances, such as allergens, toxins, fumes and second or third-hand smoke. These can be especially harmful to infants and young children whose immune systems haven't finished developing.
4. What are certain situations that can trigger asthma?

Some of the situations also work as triggers in the case of asthma. The situations are:

  • a. Exercise: Sometimes during exercise, the patient can get an asthma attack and especially if the air is cold and dry, there is a high chance that it will trigger.
  • b. Due to work: Certain occupations are related to chemical fumes, gases, dust etc., which can also trigger asthma attacks.
  • c. Due to allergy: Allergy is one of the biggest triggers of asthma. Asthma can be triggered by airborne substances such as pollen, mould spores, cockroach waste, or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets (pet dander), etc. So, be careful.
  • d. Smoke: One should not smoke in front of an asthma patient or in a closed room. It can trigger asthma.
5. What are the precautions for asthma?

Here are some tips that will help you deal with your asthma or you can suggest them to a loved one.

Stay away from triggers such as air pollution, allergies, cold air, a cold or flu virus, exercise, sinusitis, smoke, fragrances, pets, dust mites and pests such as cockroaches.

  • Do not smoke, or do not stay in a smoking zone.
  • Try to avoid smoking
  • Stay away from allergens
  • Prevent the cold
  • Take your medicine on time.
  • Get vaccinated
  • Follow the asthma control plan.

If, anyway, you or your loved one are facing frequent asthma attacks, do not take asthma medicines on your own. Overuse of medicines can also be a trigger.

Some common FAQs:

What is the best way to tackle asthma?

One of the best ways is to identify your trigger. If you can identify that and avoid it, you will be able to tackle asthma.

Is asthma curable?

No, it is not curable. However, it can be controlled.

How can I know if I have asthma or not?

If you are facing an issue of frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days or so, it can be a sign of asthma. Connect with an experienced doctor. However, other signs of asthma are also important. Keep on track.

Final words: We hope that this blog will help you to take control of your asthma and get help at the right time. Connect with Neotia Getwel Multispecialty Hospital for 24*7 emergency care and world-class treatment.