Asthma remains most under diagnosed, under treated and less understood ailments.
Paediatricians and physicians point out that only 10 to 15 per cent of parents, whose children have asthma, adhere properly to the instructions of the physicians.
“About 85 to 90 per cent of children suffer relapse because they never adhere to instructions. Correct treatment and lifestyle modifications are enough to manage and even treat asthma. But, public have stigmatised inhalers and they do not follow instructions of the physicians properly,” senior paediatrician P. Sudershan Reddy, said on the eve of World Asthma Day.
The most common symptoms that occur during asthma attack among children include tightness in chest, shortness of breath recurring cough and wheezing. Because of narrow opening of the airway, children do have trouble breathing and this causes wheezing.
“Due to initial cost factors, a majority of parents discontinue inhalers and try to adopt tablets. But, we have seen that in the long run, children develop complications after using tablets. It is always advisable to use inhalers,” says senior chest physician, Government General and Chest Diseases Hospital, Erragadda, K. Subhakar.
Doctors also maintain that the number of asthma cases is ever increasing. “About 30 to 34 per cent of children in Bangalore have asthma while among the general outpatients in Hyderabad, 10 per cent of children have asthma. Children who are breast fed for six months and those who are born naturally without C section have less chances of having Asthma,” says Dr. Sudershan Reddy.
Allaying fears of addiction to steroids in inhalers, Dr. Sudershan Reddy said that they are very useful because they provide targeted medication. “There are no side effects and adverse reactions from inhalers. There should be no inhibitions to use inhalers. Physicians, however, must make sure that they spend a lot of time with parents and explain them properly about the finer aspects of asthma,” Dr. Reddy added.
Physicians point out that 60 per cent of asthma cases among children is treatable. “If children take medications properly, then the condition is treatable. There are children who have allergic asthma and they have to continue medication for longer time,” Dr. Subhakar said.
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