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Asthma - Know More About It

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Arunesh Kumar 91% (203ratings)
MBBS, MRCP - General Medicine, MRCP Respiratory Medicine, CCST Respiratory Medicine, FRCP (London)
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon  •  22years experience
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Good evening.

I am Dr. Arunesh Kumar, senior consultant pulmonologist. Today I am going to talk to you about Asthma. As you know in Gurgaon which is one of the most polluted cities in the world and that's official now, asthma is becoming more and more relevant with the time. Asthma is a disease which is traditionally been attached to the allergies. So, your airways become sensitive and if you inhale the pollen or the dust from outside it creates an inflammation within your lungs that produces symptoms like cough, breathlessness and characteristic whistling sound which we called wheeze. Normally, asthma is a disease of childhood but with the increasing pollution and the change of weather and change of the atmosphere as such, this is more also becoming a popular disease in adulthood as we call them adult-onset asthma. There are many varieties of asthma and we as a pulmonologist try and phenotype them as to which part of which type of asthma you have got. Asthma is very characteristic as it can get better very early as at the same time it can get worse very early.

So it's very important that we look after this disease well. Normally we prescribe bronchodilators or the pumps or inhalers as we call it to have a good control of your asthma. There are two types of pumps: one inhaler is essentially we call them preventer inhaler which you should be using every day and that keeps a tab on your diseases and doesn't let it deteriorate and another inhaler is called a delivery inhaler which you only take it when your symptoms get worse. It's important that you heed to your doctor's advice and take the inhalers regularly to keep good control of your disease. Should you notice any deterioration in your symptoms like your cough is getting worse, you are more and more breathless despite taking your inhalers, you should seek an early opinion from your pulmonologist so that things can be done early rather than waiting for too late for you to be admitted into the hospital.

In addition to the inhalers, the doctor will also prescribe you some tablets to keep your airways open and it's very important once again to keep to be compliant with the treatment. Now it's very important that patients with asthma get regular review with the pulmonologist and I recommend that if you have had a previous hospital admission you should at least be seeing your pulmonologist every 6 months. I also think that you should have asthma action plan in place which essentially tells you what you should be doing should you lose the control of your disease, which essentially tells you to keep a tab on your disease and seek early medical help if required. Now if you have got a diagnosis of asthma and if you are a smoker, you should think about stopping smoking as there is evidence now that if you are a smoker and have got asthma there is every chance that your asthma can turn into COPD which is relatively worse disease than asthma. It is also very important that you should keep up to date with your vaccinations. So there are two vaccinations available for patients with asthma: one is a pneumococcal vaccine which is of two types: one lasts for lifelong and another one which you repeat every 5 years and a flu vaccine which you take every year. Once again if the crux of the asthma management is being compliant with the treatment and be in contact with the pulmonologist regularly. I hope that my this talk helps you with your asthma disease control.

Thank you very much!

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