World Asthma Day, 3rd May 2022

World Asthma Day, 3rd May 2022

The first Tuesday of May each year provides the opportunity to raise awareness and encourage support for those living with Asthma.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease, which causes breathing difficulties due to swelling and inflammation of the bronchial tubes. This inflammation is often in reaction to a specific trigger(s) e.g. allergens or exercise. Asthma is not usually curable but can be controlled to a certain extent through the use of prevention medication for chronic symptoms and relief medication for flare-ups.

The World Health Organisation state that asthma is the most common chronic illness in children. The risks for developing it include having a family member who has it (genetic cause), having other allergic conditions (such as eczema or hayfever), and exposure to environmental triggers. Different people will have different triggers, but the most common causes of asthma attacks are:

  • exposure to allergens (for example, dust particles, pets, pollen and mould)
  • tobacco smoke and air pollution
  • vigorous exercise
  • viral infections like the common cold or flu
  • extreme emotional states (for example, anger, fear, distress)

There is no cure for asthma. Some people will notice an alleviation of symptoms with age, but not all. Education and understanding are key to effective asthma control, which may be fatal if not managed properly. In order to maintain a healthy life, asthmatics are advised to:

  • Stay prepared – always carry a reliever inhaler and an identity card that tells people what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep fit – exercise raises the heart rate, boosts the strength of our lungs/immune system, improves mood and helps to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid asthma triggers – learn to recognise and manage what triggers personal asthma attacks.
  • Quit smoking (if applicable) – in the case of children, wherever possible, limit the amount of time spent in highly polluted areas.
  • Seek the advice of a medical professional if there are any queries or issues, follow the advised treatment plan prescribed and review medication regularly.  

If you wish to discuss your Asthma care plan, speak with your GP or healthcare provider.

Read more on living with Asthma HERE.