Sunday March 24, 2019

Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating

Doctors adjust the medication dose based on the patient's symptoms and lung function

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Asthma
Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating. Wikimedia Commons

If you have asthma, chances are you may be taking higher doses of medicines than actually required, say experts.
People with mild asthma are advised to lower their medication dose once their asthma has been brought under control but the best way to reduce the dose is not fully known.

“We need to find a way to help patients control their asthma without overmedicating them,” John Mastronarde, director of the asthma centre at Ohio State University, was quoted as saying.

To control asthma, patients typically take drugs called inhaled corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in the lungs and long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) so as to open the airways.

Asthma Patients May be Over-Medicating
Asthma Medicine, pixabay

Doctors adjust the medication dose based on the patient’s symptoms and lung function.

Once a patient’s asthma is controlled, the drug dose should be lowered carefully. “But that’s where things just do not happen,” Mastronarde said.

Also Read: Have Asthma? Don’t Shy Away From Your Doctor

Once symptoms are under control, sometimes both the patient and the doctor just leave the patient on whatever they are on because they do not want it to get worse again.

Although low doses of inhaled corticosteroids are safe, taking high doses of the drugs for a long time might result in some side effects including weakening of the bones, he added in a report in LiveScience.  (IANS)

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Vitamin D Can Help to Control Asthma, Says Study

Importantly, the findings showed that the effects were most pronounced among obese children

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Have Asthma? Don't Shy Away From Your Doctor
Have Asthma? Don't Shy Away From Your Doctor. Pixabay

Besides making bones strong, higher levels of Vitamin D can also help children with asthma to become more resilient to harmful respiratory effects caused by indoor air pollution, say researchers including one of an Indian-origin.

“Asthma is an immune-mediated disease,” said lead author Sonali Bose, Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“From previous scientific studies we knew that vitamin D was a molecule that may influence asthma by impacting antioxidant or immune-related pathways,” she added.

The researchers observed that having low blood vitamin D levels was related to harmful respiratory effects of indoor air pollution from sources such as cigarette smoke, cooking, burning of candles, and incense, among children with asthma.

Conversely, in homes that had the highest indoor air pollution, higher blood vitamin D levels were associated with fewer asthma symptoms in children.

asthama-in-kids
The study provides new insight that could help us predict and manage diseases like asthma – which are a significant public health burden. IANS

Importantly, the findings showed that the effects were most pronounced among obese children, Bose said.

“This highlights a third factor at play here – the obesity epidemic – and helps bring that risk to light when considering individual susceptibility to asthma.”

For the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, the researchers tested three factors — air pollution levels in homes, blood vitamin D levels, and asthma symptoms — in 120 schoolchildren with pre-existing asthma. One-third of the children were obese.

Also Read- Goa Police Ensures Strict Monitoring of Cash Transactions at Goa Casinos Ahead of Polls

“One way to increase blood vitamin D levels is to increase sun exposure, but that isn’t always possible in urban environments, or in people with darker skin pigmentation,” Bose said.

“Another way is through dietary supplements or eating more foods that are high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, mushrooms, or foods fortified with vitamin D, such as bread, orange juice, or milk.” (IANS)