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'IDIOT' syndrome hampers asthma treatment: experts

IANS May 08, 2024

A syndrome called Internet Derived Information Obstructing Treatment (IDIOT) is emerging as a major hindrance in the treatment of asthma.

Experts at the respiratory critical care unit of King George's Medical University (KGMU), said that patients, especially the educated ones, were often misled by information gathered online, especially about steroids which could hinder them from getting the right treatment.

Prof Rajendra Prasad, former head of respiratory medicine at KGMU, said that every week two to three patients, influenced by incomplete internet knowledge, resist steroid prescriptions for asthma.

He stressed that steroids, when prescribed and monitored by doctors, are the most effective asthma treatment.

Head of the respiratory critical care department of KGMU Prof Ved Prakash highlighted that around 1.9 lakh people die due to asthma complications in India annually, a concerning statistic, given that asthma can be managed well with proper medical guidance.

He pointed out that poor air quality worsens asthma and emphasised the importance of awareness and accurate diagnosis.

Prof Sumit Rungta of the medical gastroenterology and dermatology department added that asthma, being an allergy, cannot be cured but can be managed.

Meanwhile, experts at KGMU said that according to a survey by the Department of Respiratory Medicine, about 60 per cent of 500 asthma patients were found using the inhalers incorrectly. This improper use impacts the inhaler's delivery to the lungs, compromising asthma management.

Consequently, patients are often prescribed higher medication dosages (two to three times a day) due to perceived ineffectiveness, when once or twice daily usage might suffice with the correct technique.

Experts noted that "incorrect inhalation may necessitate a separate inhaler for 10 per cent of patients".

Experts also underscored the importance of thorough mouth cleaning after inhaler use to manage respiratory diseases and prevent dental complications. He outlined key steps for effective inhaler usage, including -shaking the inhaler before use; exhaling fully before medication administration; holding the inhaler in the correct position; inhaling deeply while dispensing the medicine; holding the breath for at least five seconds; and shaking the inhaler between puffs (if applicable).

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