Lung for Long: Gasp No More

Business Wire India
  • Data emerging from Press Club of India press panic button
  • High time to know your lung number and reinstate its power

Lungs in Delhi seem to be in dire straits. In the midst of ever thickening air pollution and lifestyle gone astray, lung power is ebbing fast. Data emerging from April 25 lung health camp organized in iconic Press Club of India (PCI) on the occasion of World Asthma Day pressed panic button as regards lung health of the capital city.

In all, 100 journalists and photo journalists were tested for lung health. Of them, 10 were diagnosed as asthmatic and three were found suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). 5 were already on medication and 8 were newly diagnosed. Meaning thereby, nearly 10 percent of the population is suffering from lung ailments.

The data may be taken as a wake- up call for course correction. Breathe free movement is well timed in the interest of lung health. People need to hurry to know their lung number by undergoing Spirometry test.

We are so engrossed in our choice of modern living that we have lost sight of the very organ that pumps life into our body day in and day out. Lung is the 'heart' of the matter for long and healthy living but its capacity is at its lowest ebb. Lest your life collapses, thanks to ever weakening lung, it is high time to know your lung number and try to restore its capacity. Spirometry test, which measures lung's capacity, is the need of the hour. Breathe free movement underlines the dire straits lung has got into and prescribes ways to get out of it.

Our choice of living has made us vulnerable to many lifestyle diseases. Smoking, no physical activity, food preferences and environmental factors like dust and air pollution are making our lungs weak- so weak that we have to gasp harder and harder to pump air into our body. For most, it can be the triggering cause of asthma and one of the first steps to identify your lung health is to 'know your lung number'. Lung function means how well your lungs work. When you have asthma, your lungs can't move as much air in and out as they should. And the more serious your asthma is, the less air your lungs are able to move.

We often think of heart health as the determining factor in our overall wellness, but we may be missing the mark. Lung capacity affects our health and is often overlooked. A patient with high blood pressure finds it utmost critical to get his/her BP checked at regular intervals as this helps them to monitor BP level.  In the same manner, an asthmatic patient or people who feel breathless should make a point to get their lung function checked. The check-up will help you 'know your lung number'. The number is obtained through simple and inexpensive pulmonary function tests like spirometry test.

Stretching on the importance of lung check-up, Dr. Karan Madan, Assistant Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders, AIIMS highlighted that, "We should remember that asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure, but can be controlled well through inhalers. There are many patients who will stop taking their inhalers once they feel better. This can be dangerous and affect their breathing and doing even daily chores can make them breathless.  Patients should consult their doctor and the necessary tests performed to keep their lungs healthy and fit."

Spirometry measures airflow, by measuring how much air you can exhale, and how quickly can you exhale. Spirometry can evaluate a broad range of lung diseases. Spirometry measures how well the lungs exhale. Pulmonary function tests are a broad range of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and exhale air and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the blood. Lung volume measurement detects restrictive lung diseases.

These tests further helps in early diagnosis of asthma and the right treatment plays a crucial role in patient management. Patient of asthma who is not under the right treatment runs the continuous risk of asthma attacks which often requires regular admission to hospital and can be life-threatening.

Dr. Bharat Gopal, Chest Physicians, Maharajah Agarsen Hospital further added, "It is important to understand the need to know your lung number and why inhalation therapy is the most effective therapy to control asthma and breathlessness. This World Asthma Day, we urge people who are asthmatic or feel breathless should get the spirometry test or pulmonary test, a first step to understand asthma symptoms.Myths associated with the treatment needs to be busted. Inhaled corticosteroids have been recognized and widely accepted as the mainstay of asthma management."

The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease. The most effective way to control asthma is through – Inhalation Therapy which is available in India at a price as low as INR 4 to INR 6 per day which means that a year's supply of medicine is less than the cost of 1 night's stay at the hospital.It is important that we overcome these barriers and understand the importance of inhalation therapy and adhere to it, if we have to control asthma and lead a happy & better quality of life. The side effects are low and the dosage required is also low comparative to oral medication. They are safe for person of all age groups and even for pregnant ladies.

The need of the hour for patient is to gain timely and authentic information on correct symptoms, treatment and care tips. City pulmonologists earnestly appeal to patients with breathing problems to get prompt check-ups to ensure a healthy quality of life and understand asthma symptoms, this World Asthma Day.
About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease which affects large populations worldwide and its number is rising every year. According to the WHO between 100 and 150 million people around suffer from asthma. In India, the soaring numbers have reached 15-20 million and the number will continue to grow until adequate emphasis is laid on the importance of identifying the right medication, which can help manage asthma effectively.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder of the lungs in which there is inflammation (swelling) of the airways in our lungs. Due to this inflammation, the airways are narrowed and the lungs become vulnerable to various allergens which act as triggers for an asthma attack. Dust, cold, pollen, furry pets, and viruses and air pollutants, and even emotional agitation act as triggers for an asthma attack.The usual manifestations of asthma are repeated episodes of chest tightness, difficulty in breathing and cough. In children, asthma often manifests through a single symptom like cough which is more severe at night or early in the morning and remains persistent despite intake of various cough syrups and medications.

Although asthma is not curable, it is possible to gain complete control over it and lead a normal active life. There are several therapies and forms of treatment for asthma available in the market. However, it has now been accepted globally that the best and safest way to take asthma medication is by inhalation as it reaches your lungs directly and starts acting immediately. It is to be noted that in Inhalation therapy, the dosage needed is up to 20 times lesser than syrups or tablets and far more effective. 

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