Asthma is one of the least misunderstood diseases. Most patients aren’t even diagnosed or treated. According to doctors, only 10-15 % of parents, whose children have asthma, follow instructions properly.
“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. However, 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.
Docs are also afraid that the asthma cases are also on the rise. 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.