Saturday January 18, 2020

Have Asthma? Don’t Shy Away From Your Doctor

The study cited several young adults feeling uncomfortable taking their medication in public settings

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

Can’t find relief from asthma symptoms? Grill your doctor frequently to better understand your problem, says a study.

In order for asthma treatment to be effective, patients need to increase communication with their physicians, said researchers.

“When patients do not understand their condition or treatment plan, they may not follow life-saving guidelines, putting them at increased risk for asthma attacks,” said allergist and article author Stanley Fineman, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Fineman noted that only eight to 13 percent of asthma sufferers continue to refill inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions after one year.

Taken early and as directed, these inhalers can improve asthma control, normalise lung function and even prevent irreversible injury to airways, said the study published in the journal titled Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The study cited several young adults feeling uncomfortable taking their medication in public settings.

Asthma
Children with asthma use inhaler to relieve some of the symptoms. Wikimedia Commons

Several of them do not manage their condition as advised, which can lead to increased asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

“Allergists need to communicate the importance of continuing medication, and patients should express any concerns they might have, such as taking medication in public, since there are often solutions,” said allergist Alan Baptist, an ACAAI member and senior study author.

According to the study, many of young asthma sufferers said they stopped using prescribed medication when symptoms subsided.

Also Read: Human Touch Can Rehabilitate Patients

Although symptoms can become better with time, asthma is a chronic illness. Unless directed by a physician, asthma patients should never change or discontinue preventive medications.

Asthma is a serious disease and discontinuing treatment can be dangerous. “Sufferers need to be sure they regularly take medication and that all of their concerns are being addressed,” added Fineman.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, 235 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. (IANS)

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Here’s how Vaping Can Increase the Risk of Asthma and COPD

Vaping increases risk of asthma and COPD says a study

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COPD smoking
Inhaling heated tobacco vapor through e-cigarettes increases chances of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pixabay

Inhaling heated tobacco vapor through e-cigarettes increases chances of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), conditions long shown to be caused by smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes.

The research data, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also suggest chances of developing COPD may be around six times greater among people who vape as well as smoke tobacco regularly, compared with those who don’t use any tobacco products.

“Although e-cigarettes may turn out to be safer than traditional combustible cigarettes, our studies add to growing evidence that they carry health risks,” said researcher Michael Blaha from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Cases of asthma and COPD are rising worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), with most cases of COPD resulting from traditional cigarettes.

Asthma COPD
Cases of asthma and COPD are rising worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Pixabay

To shed light on the risk, the researchers used national survey data gathered by the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2016-17.

In the analysis, published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine, the investigators analysed data from 402,822 people who identified themselves as never smokers — those who smoked less than 100 combustible cigarettes in their lifetimes.

Of these, 3,103 reported using e-cigarettes or vaping, and 34,074 people reported having asthma. Almost 11 per cent of e-cigarette users reported asthma compared with eight per cent of those who had never used e-cigarettes.

The people who reported to be e-cigarette users were 39 per cent more likely to self-report asthma compared with those who said they never used e-cigarettes.

Those who said they used e-cigarettes some days were 31 per cent more likely, and daily users 73 per cent more likely to report asthma, compared with non-e-cigarette users.

For the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the researchers analysed the same data from all the questioned participants.

Of the 700,000 plus participants, 61 per cent reported being never smokers, nine per cent current smokers, 30 per cent former smokers, more than three per cent e-cigarette users and two per cent used both e-cigarette and traditional cigarettes.

Of the e-cigarette users, about 11 per cent said they had chronic bronchitis, emphysema or COPD, compared with 5.6 per cent who said they never used e-cigarettes.

Also Read- Know About the Adverse Health Effects of E-Cigarettes

Among never smokers, e-cigarette users were 75 per cent more likely to report COPD, compared with those who had never used them.

For both studies, the researchers cautioned that they weren’t designed to show that vaping directly causes lung disease, but only whether doing so was associated with an increased likelihood of having disease. (IANS)