The world asthma day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), celebrated on the 6th of May. The aim is to increase awareness among the populations of the ailment in question, and this year’s theme has been chosen to be “You Can Control Your Asthma”.
Studies have shown that the number of patients suffering from asthma in Mauritius in on the increase. This is the case all around the world; Mauritius is no exception. Why is it on the rise? The developments reshaping our societies are blamed for the increased incidence of asthma. The disease greatly decreases the quality of life of those who suffer from it. However, the situation is punctuated with promising ways of tackling the disease – by controlling it.
What is asthma?
The disease has a male predominance, specially those males between 3 and 14 years of age. Pregnant women and those entering into the phase of menopause may also suffer from asthma. It can be kept under control though. Experts in pneumology say that this condition can be reversed; the chronic symptoms can be kept at bay.
Causes of asthma
One may be predisposed genetically to contract the disease. However, one carrying the gene for the disease does not necessarily have to suffer from it.
According to GINA, a correlation has been found between asthma and obesity. The association enlists the participation of experts around the world who define the parameters governing the disease. Based on their research, they suggest that a substance found in fats known as leptin favours the development of asthma.
Other causes are viral infections, specially those developing during winter. Other allergens like chemical substances, smoke from tobacco cigarettes, dust, air pollution, pollens can trigger the disease to erupt.
Contact with animals like dogs, cats, and even birds and cockroaches may be responsible for the asthma cases.
Some food items can also trigger asthma: crustaceans, the kiwi, strawberry, chocolate and even peanuts can be allergens causing the disease. Certain drugs can do the same, such as aspirin. Strong emotions can also cause the eruption of asthma.
The disease is not one which is cured. One is born with it and dies with it. However, it can be controlled. Certain drugs are used such as cortisone, which can also be injected. And at other times, inhalers are used, and this is the most efficient way to deal with asthma.