Asthma triggers vary between individuals and may evolve over time.(Photo: Pixabay)
HYDERABAD: As the monsoon season approaches, it brings with it a surge in respiratory challenges for those living with asthma. This change in weather can introduce a host of triggers like increased dampness, mold, cold air, and higher chances of exposure to viral infection that worsen symptoms, such as breathlessness and wheezing leading to an asthma attack. Infact, researchers have observed a notable rise in asthma cases, including acute bronchospasm (when lung airway muscles tighten), after thunderstorms, leading to the term "thunderstorm asthma."
Dr. Mallu Gangadhar Reddy, Consultant Pulmonologist, Hyderabad said, "Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition. When a person living with this condition is exposed to triggers like an overexposure to allergens it can cause their already swollen airways to spasm, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. It is imperative that asthmatics as well as their families gain the knowledge to recognize early warning signs of worsening symptoms in order to respond promptly, effectively minimizing the impact of the disease on their daily lives."
Following the right treatment plan and using an Inhaler, as prescribed by a doctor, is critical for asthmatics to manage their condition and seamlessly adapt to the season. Inhalation devices administer medicine directly to the airways and lungs, require lower doses and minimize medication side effects, making a significant difference in managing this serious condition.
Along with following the doctor-prescribed treatment plan, other precautionary measures to take include:
Prioritize personal hygiene and clean surroundings. Keep surroundings clean and well-ventilated – this includes practices cleaning AC ducts before monsoons, drying clothes outside or in the dryer etc. Practice frequent handwashing, wear a face mask outdoors, and stay indoors during thunderstorms to reduce exposure to triggers like allergens or viral infections. Monitor lung health with a peak flow meter. The handheld device can be used to measure lung strength and airway openness.
Asthma triggers vary between individuals and may evolve over time. Monitor triggers as it enables medical professionals to customize treatment plans effectively.
Develop an asthma action plan, in consultation with a doctor. It is a written guide for asthmatics, detailing medications, instructions, condition severity levels, triggers, etc. this helps to cope with symptoms, identify and track triggers as well as take preventive measure to better manage the condition.
Get annual flu vaccinations and regular pneumococcal pneumonia vaccinations to reduce this risk of respiratory infection, which can develop into pneumonia for asthmatics.
Dr. Mallu Gangadhar Reddy added, "Limited disease awareness and misconceptions about inhalation therapy have led to asthma being clouded in myths and stigma. This results in high rates of underdiagnosis, delayed or inadequate treatment, and untreated cases. Awareness Initiatives play a crucial role in empowering patients to understand and adhere to prescribed treatments."
For over half a decade, the #BerokZindagi campaign has used different content formats to drive its mission of dispelling asthma myths, encouraging inhaler acceptance, and inspiring change for asthmatics nationwide. Exploring yet another creative medium, the campaign will now expand its mission to a wider audience with the premier of a series of short-videos on one of India’s leading short-form content channels – FilterCopy.