Every year on the first Tuesday of the month of May, World Asthma Day is celebrated all over the world to increase awareness among the people about this disease. The month of May is also known as the Asthma Awareness Month. It is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to create awareness and promote ways to cure the disease around the world.
World Asthma Day was first started celebrating by GINA in the year 1998.
Every year GINA comes up with a different theme. The theme for this year is “You can control your Asthma” and sub-theme would be “It’s time to control Asthma”.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. It is also a condition in which your airways narrow and swell, producing extra mucus.
It is the most common disease among children. The disease affects people of all ages and often starts during childhood.
Some 235 million people currently suffer from this chronic lung disease.
Asthma is an incurable illness but appropriate management can control the disorder, enabling people to lead a good and healthy life.
Causes of Asthma
Though the causes of Asthma are not known yet, the disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that may provoke allergic reactions or irritate the airways, such as:
Indoor allergens such as house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture, pollution and pet dander
Chemical irritants in the workplace
Extreme emotional outburst
Causes of Asthma differ from person to person.
A person goes through certain symptoms before being diagnosed of Asthma. Here are some of the symptoms of the disease, though they too differ from person to person.
Coughing – Coughing from asthma is worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.
Wheezing – Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you are breathing.
Chest tightness – You feel that something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
Shortness of breath- Sometimes you may feel shortness of breath or out of breath. You may even feel like you can’t get air out of your lungs.
Short-term medications are used to relieve the symptoms and medications such as long-term inhaled steroids are needed to control severe asthma. But one needs to take proper care of oneself by taking these precautions.
Do not allow pets in bedrooms or on the furniture.
Remove carpets and soft toys from the room.
Avoid areas where people smoke
Control seasonal allergies
Always keep quick-relief asthma medicines with you.
World Asthma Day is a great initiative by Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) for making people well informed about this chronic lung disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) plays an important role in coordinating international efforts against the disease. The aim of WHO is to support Member States in their efforts to reduce the disability and premature deaths related to Asthma.