Thursday February 21, 2019

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.

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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)

Next Story

Fish Oil Supplements May Not Improve Asthma Symptoms, Says Study

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested

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Man about to use asthma inhaler

Fish oil supplements, once touted as the natural substance that could alleviate many of your chronic ailments, may not prove to be helpful to obese/overweight adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma, new research suggests.

The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that four grams of fish oil a day for six months did not improve asthma control, as measured by a standard asthma control questionnaire, breathing tests, urgent care visits and severe asthma exacerbations.

“We don’t know why asthma control in obese patients is more difficult, but there is growing evidence that obesity causes systemic inflammation,” said lead author Jason E. Lang, Associate Professor at the Duke University in the US.

“Because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties, we wanted to test whether fish oil would have therapeutic benefits for these patients,” Lang added.

The team included nearly 100 overweight or obese participants aged 12 to 25 and found that the participants had poor asthma control despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid to control their asthma.

For every three participants assigned to take fish oil for 25 weeks, one was assigned to take the soy oil placebo.

Supplements
Fish oil may not improve asthma symptoms: Study. Pixabay

In addition, the team also looked at whether a variant in the gene ALOX5 affected the findings. It is known that mutations in the gene can reduce responses to anti-leukotriene drugs.

Leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that play a critical role in triggering asthma attacks. In this study, the ALOX5 variant did appear to be linked to leukotriene production but not to the effectiveness of fish oil in providing asthma control.

The researchers noted that the study’s negative findings may not be the last word on fish oil and asthma and acknowledged that larger doses of fish oil over a longer period of time may produce a different result.

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However, based on the current study, “there is insufficient evidence for clinicians to suggest to patients with uncontrolled asthma that they should take daily fish oil supplements to help their asthma”, said Lang.

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested. (IANS)