• Profile

Lack of education, misconceptions on asthma hindering treatment: Doctors

IANS May 08, 2024

Lack of education surrounding asthma is giving rise to misconceptions and misinformation, delaying treatment of the debilitating respiratory condition, said doctors on World Asthma Day on 7 May.

World Asthma Day is observed every year on May 7 to raise awareness of the relentless chronic condition. This year's theme, Asthma Education Empowers, underscores the importance of enhancing awareness and understanding of asthma

“Adherence to treatment plans is pivotal, yet often hindered by misconceptions and misinformation surrounding asthma management,” said Dr Indu Khosla, Consultant Pulmonologist.

“Despite the availability of advanced treatment and prevention strategies, there remains a notable lack of education surrounding asthma. Many individuals are unaware of how to effectively manage their condition and access appropriate medical assistance.

With proper education and knowledge about asthma, including recent advancements in modern and biological medicines, it becomes easier to prevent and treat the condition,” added Dr Sachin Kumar, Senior Consultant - Pulmonology & Critical Care Medicine Bengaluru.

Asthma prevalence globally ranges from 3-15 per cent, and it is influenced by genetics and environmental triggers like dust, pollution, and viral infections.

Post-COVID, there has been an increase in the number of viral infections causing wheezing in children and this is attributed to reduced immunity due to decreased exposure during the lockdowns.

“Worsening AQI due to construction activities, weather change, etc. has also contributed to a rise in wheezing among children. This phenomenon we are seeing both in normal children without genetic predisposition for asthma and in children with asthma. It is possible that it could be a potential risk leading to future asthma development,” Dr Indu said.

Asthma remains a significant global health concern, affecting an estimated 262 million people worldwide as of 2019 and causing approximately 455,000 deaths annually as per the World Health Organization.

Dr Pavan Yadav, Lead Consultant - Interventional Pulmonology & Lung Transplantation, said that in India, asthma affects a considerable portion of the population, with urbanisation and air pollution cited as significant contributors to the rising prevalence.

“The challenge in India, as in many lower-middle-income countries, is the under-diagnosis and under-treatment of the disease, which exacerbates the health burden on the population,” he added.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder where the major symptoms are breathlessness, chest tightness, and cough. While more common in early childhood and adolescence, it can happen at any age.

According to Dr. Puneet Khanna HOD And Consultant - Respiratory Medicine Manipal Hospital Dwarka, asthma also spikes comorbidities like allergies.

“The most common is allergic rhinitis or the nasal discharge from the nose or a beacon sneezing. It is estimated that approximately 97 per cent of patients who have asthma also have coexisting allergic rhinitis,” he said.

In addition, there can be sinusitis post nasal drip, headache, or migraine, gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and autoimmune diseases like joint pains PCOD, or thyroid disorders.

The doctors called for addressing the myths associated with asthma, particularly misconceptions to help boost treatment outcomes.

Only Doctors with an M3 India account can read this article. Sign up for free or login with your existing account.
4 reasons why Doctors love M3 India
  • Exclusive Write-ups & Webinars by KOLs

  • Nonloggedininfinity icon
    Daily Quiz by specialty
  • Nonloggedinlock icon
    Paid Market Research Surveys
  • Case discussions, News & Journals' summaries
Sign-up / Log In
M3 app logo
Choose easy access to M3 India from your mobile!

M3 instruc arrow
Add M3 India to your Home screen
Tap  Chrome menu  and select "Add to Home screen" to pin the M3 India App to your Home screen