In a trend reversal, number of asthma cases goes up this summer

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INHALER

May 1 was observed as ‘World Asthma Day’

The incidence of asthma seems to be higher in summer than in winter or the rainy season, in a reversal of trends.

The winters are times when there generally are maximum cases. City-based pulmonologists getting more cases this summer think that improper use of air coolers and sudden changes in temperature caused by refrigerated foods and air-conditioning are the reasons for the increase in the incidence of asthma, particularly in children.

City-based pulmonologist Anil Kancherla said that May 1 was observed as ‘World Asthma Day’.

Doctors conduct awareness programmes to asthma patients and parents of children prone to respiratory disorders to give them tips on better management of the disease.

Water coolers were used in closed rooms leading to the increase of humidity that often acts a trigger to asthma attacks. The water used in water coolers is also rich in dust particles and viral spores that cause infection and asthma.

The filters of the air-conditioner should also be cleaned periodically. Children tend to drink extremely cold water in summer to beat the heat, but the variation in temperature triggers asthma attacks, Dr Anil explained.

Simple precautions

He said some simple measures could protect children from asthma attacks.

There is a new line of immunity boosting drugs and injections that prevents children from developing cold and cough and in reducing the number of attacks. “Immunotherapy is very effective in improving the immunity of the children,” he said.

Various flu shots (vaccines) go a long way in protecting the children and the elderly from various infections that lead to asthma attacks, he said.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the use of inhalers which have become very effective. Inhalers have no side effects as it was believed. It is safe even for newborn babies to use inhalers, Dr Anil said.

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