Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. That it is a significant problem in India is evident from the statistics: The sales of anti-asthma medicines in India went up 43% over the past four years, shows market data, with 2016 marking a 15% growth in anti-asthma prescriptions across children and adults.
Despite the statistics, there are ways to prevent asthma and certain things can help you cope better. Here’s a round-up of research on the disease:
* Kids with asthma are unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics.
If you have a child who has asthma, it would do well to monitor which medicines they are being prescribed. Children suffering from asthma are unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics for treatment even though guidelines do not support this, new research shows.
* A greener neighbourhood may help asthmatic kids breathe better.
If your kid is suffering from asthma, you may want to move to a green neighbourhood, suggests a recent study. The results suggested that living closer to a park can benefit children with asthma, especially older children who are more likely to go to the park on their own. The study looked at inner-city children with persistent asthma and compared the number of days they suffered with symptoms over a period of two weeks with the distance from their homes to the nearest park.
* New mothers, breastfeed your baby to lower her risk of asthma later in life.
It is a known fact that breastfeeding your baby will give her a strong immune system. However, with more research on the topic, it is getting clearer that there’s nothing more beneficial to a newborn than breast milk. Here’s another reason for new mothers to breastfeed their babies as according to a recent study, breastfed newborns have a 45 percent lower risk of asthma exacerbation later in life.
* Yoga can help asthma patients breathe better, says new study.
A study has shown that practising yoga helps provide some relief to patients and can be beneficial to an extent. However, the finding was not clear as to the extent to which yoga helps in lung function. It further added that more studies were needed to ascertain if yoga could provide an alternative to the use of medication for relief.
* Solving sleep problems can help deal with asthma.
A large-scale Norwegian study which looked at the risk of asthma in 17,926 adult participants found that those with chronic insomnia had a higher risk of developing asthma. Those who woke up in the night and had trouble getting back to sleep “often” or “almost every night” had a 92% and 36% increased risk of developing the disease, while those who suffered from poor-quality sleep more than once a week had a 94% increased risk. The team concluded that as a manageable condition, solving sleep problems could be one way to help prevent asthma.