Shrinking lung space fuelling asthma

In 2009, 25.6 per cent of children suffered from the disease: Study

Shrinking lung space fuelling asthma

On the World Asthma Day, Deccan Herald looks at how rapid urbanisation and pollution has led to increased incidence of asthma. 

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, which usually occurs due to body’s reaction to allergies. Asthmatic people suffer from wheezing, cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Dr H Paramesh, Paediatric Pulmonologist at Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital said, "Though asthma can be hereditary, the environment plays a key role in causing the disease.”

Changing lifestyle, eating habits and rise in traffic congestion are some of the reasons leading to asthma among the urban population. Interiors of houses are crucial in preventing the disease.

"Carpets and thick drapes should be avoided by asthmatics as they are a breeding ground for dust mites. In the Western countries, especially cold countries, houses are built according to their climatic condition. People here need not emulate their lifestyle mindlessly,” he said.

Based on Dr Paramesh’s study conducted over the past 30 years children suffering from asthma increased from 9 per cent in 1979 to 25.6 per cent in 2009. Though there is no cure for asthma timely intervention, regular medication and appropriate changes in the environment can help contain the disease.

Look out for

* indoor allergens like house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture and pet danders.

* outdoor allergens like vehicular smoke, pollens

* tobacco smoke, pungent perfumes and incense sticks .

* chemical irritants in the workplace.

New EcoCheck H2O2 at RGICD

Recently, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) bought a German make ECoCheck H202 under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) scheme.  The ECoCheck H202 analyzes the exhaled breath condensate of H202, where it monitors the lung inflammation rates in an individual.

Director of the Institute Dr Shashidhar Buggi said, "The results from the equipment determine the need for a lung biopsy. By just blowing air into the pipe attached to the equipment, H2O2 levels can be recorded." he said.

Dr Buggi added that if the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) agrees to fund, a comprehensive study can be carried out on people suffering from lung diseases.

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