Marking the World Asthma Day on May 3, UAE doctors have called on all parents to be on the lookout for signs of the condition in their children as early as possible. These efforts will help in avoiding any complications due to asthma in the future.
According to Dr. Muhammed Aslam, Specialist Pulmonologist at International Modern hospital Dubai, asthma is caused at an early age due to reasons like allergic history. The condition can affect the development of child, including attendance and performance at school, the doctor added.
Dr. Kartik Sood, Specialist Pulmonologist at Dubai's NMC Speciality Hospital, explained that asthma is a condition in which airways in the body become narrow and swell. It may produce extra mucus, causing breathing difficulty and triggering coughing and wheezing in the affected person.
Medicos further noted that the condition is caused by genetic pre-disposability and exposure to triggers like pollution, atmospheric changes, and climatic changes.
Dr Aslam added that dust, chemical and gasses are among the other factors triggering the condition.
“Airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, cold air, smoke and respiratory infections, certain medications, including beta-blockers, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, strong emotions and stress, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, all these can trigger asthma symptoms,” Dr Sood pointed out.
What is childhood asthma?
Doctors underlined that childhood asthma is not different from the condition faced by adults. Dr Sood said that it is a leading cause of visit to emergency department, hospitalisations and missed school days. He also highlighted that there is no cure for childhood asthma, adding that symptoms can continue into adulthood.
However, with the right treatment, the symptoms can be kept under control and the affected individual can prevent damage to lungs.
This year, the World Asthma Day was marked under the theme "closing gaps in asthma cure" with the aim of raising awareness about asthma.
As per experts, asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases which is affected people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities around the world today.
According to estimates, the number of people with asthma globally may be as high as 334 million today. In the UAE alone, about 2.79 percent to 8 percent of the population is suffering from asthma, Dr Sood said.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the most common symptoms of asthma include cough, wheezing, breathlessness, and chest tightness
Treatment and cure
According to Dr Aslam, potential treatment involves proper medications and lifestyle changes.
“Inhalers are the best and safest medical cure, with very less side effects,” added Dr Aslam.
While there is no cure for asthma currently, treatment can help in controlling the symptoms such that affected individuals are able to live a normal life.
When to seek medical attention immediately
People can seek medical advice in case of severe breathlessness or wheezing, especially at night or in the early morning. Furthermore, if they are unable to speak more than short phrases and experiencing low peak flow readings when using a peak flow meter.
In addition, if there is no improvement in breathing even after using the inhaler, they must consult a medical specialist immediately.