Mumbai docs witness rise in new asthma cases

While there are several risk factors why Mumbaikars are prone to this respiratory ailment. The key reasons for the rise of asthma cases are air pollution, dust and debris from constant construction work in the city, dust from dug up and roads. Vehicular exhaust is the most common cause of air pollution

Image Source: Google
Image Source: Google

And also, fine particulate matter which are tiny air pollutants, are a major concern for people’s health when their levels in air are high. PM2.5 is tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated.

All of the above factors make the citizens more prone to asthma.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This results in asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

  • Among the general population, children have a higher risk of developing asthma, nearly 20 to 30 per cent of newly diagnosed cases of asthma are due to childhood asthma.
  • Apart from this the overall incidence rate of new asthma cases in Mumbai is at 25 per cent. While one third of Mumbai are prone to develop asthma.
  • People in the age group ranging from 20 to 40 years of age are at a higher risk of developing this respiratory condition. Also, smokers are at a high risk of developing asthma. 

Also, medically speaking times have changed and the treatment approach towards asthma has evolved. Earlier, doctors used to prescribe medications to treat asthma, and they still do.

But now, apart from regular medications, inhalers have come to the fore in helping patients deal with asthma as it can release the same medicinal dosage into the lungs with much better efficacy. That is why is important to make patients aware about the positive health impact of using an inhaler. Doctors state that 7 out of 10 people do not use an asthma inhaler. Even though, they suffer from this respiratory condition.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Sushant Mane, a child specialist from JJ Hospital , said, “Cases of asthma are on the rise among both children and adults. These patients used to earlier be administered medicine to keep their illness under control. But now, we start inhaler therapy as it helps patients cope with the disease. It has a fast-acting effect. Regular use of this can easily help in controlling asthma.Yet, there are many misconceptions related to inhaler use. Due to this, 30 to 40 per cent of patients stop using asthma areas mid-way, during the course of treatment.”

Dr Nimesh Shah, a chest physician at Sir H.N. Reliance Hospital, said, “Since the last few years, our hospital has witnessed a rise in 12 to 15 per cent cases of asthma. Air pollution, lifestyle factors like smoking are major cases. Other factors such as construction work and the debris caused due to it can be another causative factor. People are prone to developing asthma due to these factors.”

Speaking about the inhaler therapy, Dr Shah added, “Asthma inhalers are beneficial for lungs, people must use them as they do not have any hazardous effects and are completely safe. But people tend not to use it. They must use it as it will help improve their condition.”

Dr Sanjeev Mehta, a chest physician from Lilavati Hospital, stated,“The number of asthma-affected patients have steadily increased over the years. People in the age group between 30 to 40 are at a high risk for developing asthma. But, there is still lack of awareness and a paucity of information. People have certain notions about it. Due to this people ignore this ailment. Ignoring this disease will only worsen it. As early detection, timely diagnosis and treatment can help control the severity of the disease.”