Asthma no longer an older disease says Expert

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NewZNew (Panchkula) : Teachers and students attended a Max Super Specialty Hospital ( MSSH), Mohali health seminar on World Asthma Day at Bhavan Vidyala School, Sector 15 , Panchkula  today.

Addressing them, Dr. Sandip Jain, Consultant, Pediatrics, MSSH said that the precious lives could easily be saved, if asthma among children could be detected on time. Asthma was usually seen as disease of old which was not true. The incidences of asthma were rising among children and it could be seen as early as in six months old kids.

Some doctors would also shy away in making the appropriate diagnosis on time as they fear that this idea might get rejected by parents or they might lose their patients. Some clinicians would give alternative names to this illness like chest congestion, winter allergy, dust allergy or allergic bronchitis. But as a result of this, many kids were treated with short courses of medicines which would not benefit in overall control of this condition and kids keep coming back to clinicians with recurrent cough and breathing difficulty, he remarked.

“Ironically when a child with severe asthma attack would approach doctor, the acute attack was not clearly explained to the parent thanks to stigma attached to disease. Thus the plan for acute attack was never clearly explained. This in return would risk the life of child.”

Dr Jain said further , the need of hours was that parents should be well aware of asthma sings which included wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, feeling tightness in the chest, dry mouth, fatigue, headache and a general feeling of not being well.

“In case of an emergency, the parents should not panic but would start and keep giving the asthma relief medication via spacer or nebulizer till help arrived. The key was to start the treatment early. Doctors should inform patient regarding the asthma action plan.”

One should be aware of life threatening attack signs like struggling for breath where even the blue rescue inhaler did not help. In such situation the child would find it hard to speak or unable to even finish a sentence. The other key indicators included sucking in skin above breastbone and between ribs, nostrils flaring out, blue lips or nail beds, tireless, lethargic, pale, grey and  sweating or fainting, informed Dr Jain.

With a proper treatment plan, asthma could be controlled. The child could live a healthy and active life. However the important thing for parents was to recognize the disease and to take proper precautionary measures, asserted Dr Jain.