May 5th is celebrated Worldwide as Asthma day to spread awareness regarding the often misinformed disease. Experts say that asthma patients are prone to the deadly coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 339 million people are asthma patients, and around 417,918 deaths happen due to asthma at the global level.
Mariah Dins, a journalist from India, was suffering from asthma for several years. With the arrival of the pandemic, she started getting anxious over Covid’s impact on her health.
” When I was tested positive for Covid-19 disease, I was experiencing difficulty in breathing and had chest congestion. I started panicking. However, with proper guidance I could recover from it soon,” Mariah says.
World Asthma Day 2021
The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) organize World Asthma Day every year. This is held each May to raise awareness of the disease. As many misconceptions surround the disease, this year’s World Asthma Day focuses on “Uncovering asthma misconceptions”. According to GINA, the misconceptions prevent asthma patients from enjoying optimal benefit from managing this condition.
Common misconceptions include:
- Asthma is a childhood disease, and people will recover from it once they reach adulthood.
- Asthma is infectious
- Exercise is not advisable for asthma patients
However, experts say that:
- Asthma can occur at any age and to anyone
- Asthma is not infectious. But, asthma tends to associate with allergy among children.
- With proper control, asthma patients can do exercise
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease. It is a condition in which the airways narrow and swell. This makes it difficult to breathe. Severe cases of asthma can cause trouble while the person is talking. As per WHO, asthma occurs in all countries regardless of their income levels and development. However, deaths due to asthma are comparatively more in lower-income countries.
Asthma symptoms vary depending upon people and the asthmatic range they possess. Above all, one should consult a doctor immediately if they have the following symptoms:
- Change of colour in fingernails, lips or face
- Breathing tends to be unusual
- Difficulty in doing basic activities like talking, walking or breathing
There are certain asthma triggers. They can be air pollutants, tobacco, allergens like dust mites and pollen, infections like flu and sinus, weather change and stress.
Tips to prevent asthma
Most importantly, one can prevent asthma from turning vulnerable by practising the following:
- Take medication properly
- Monitor breathing pattern
- Staying away from pollutants and allergens
- In the wake of the pandemic, follow all government guidelines and practise social distancing.
Foundations supporting asthma patients
World Asthma Foundation ((WAF) supports asthma patients around the World through a series that focuses on defeating asthma. The foundation tries to educate the public about the disease along with providing support to the community. As people with asthma are considered highly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and other diseases, support is impeccable. The ultimate goal of this foundation is to understand the root cause of severe asthma and find out a potential cure for the same. The organization believes that they can put asthma to an end with the available research data and share the understanding from their experiences. On the other hand, experts believe that a complete cure for asthma is ambitious.
In these challenging times, it is highly advised that people, especially those prone to asthma and related breathing problems, must follow all the guidelines put forth by the WHO, which includes social distancing, wearing masks, regularly washing hands using soap or sanitisers, avoiding public gatherings and by staying hygienic.
Check out the video below to know more about the issue: