Staff Reporter

An estimated 100 million persons more will be affected by 2025

Inhalation or aerosol therapy is the best method to treat asthmaDiet plays a negligible role in triggering asthma attacks Many children outgrow asthma with age

VISAKHAPATNAM: Inhalation or aerosol therapy is the best method to treat asthma. The advantage of this therapy is that it uses only 1/1000th of the dose of oral drugs, and acts only on lungs.

The oral drugs act on other organs of the body which is not necessary in treating the disease, said Dr. B. Rajasekhar, secretary, and Dr. K. Radhakrishna, academic advisor of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, at a media conference organised on the occasion of World Asthma Day on Tuesday.

World Asthma Day is organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve awareness of the disease and care around the world. The theme for this year is `The unmet needs of asthma'.

They said that the prevalence of asthma was on the rise with growing urbanisation. It affects 300 million children and adults worldwide.

An estimated 100 million additional persons would be affected by 2025 with the projected growth in urban population.

The symptoms of asthma are narrowing down of the airways resulting in cough, breathlessness and noisy breathing. Dr. Rajasekhar said that children with asthma should be allowed to lead a normal life without imposing unnecessary restrictions on their diet. Contrary to popular belief, diet plays a negligible role in triggering asthma attacks. Barring ice-cream and chilled water, they could be allowed to consume fruits and almost everything else without any restriction.

The good news was that many children outgrow asthma with age. Dr. Radhakrishna said that the apprehensions among parents that long-term treatment with inhalers could lead to addiction were totally baseless. The aerosol therapy besides being cost-effective had no side effects.

Replying to queries, he said that use of aerosol therapy, under the advice of a doctor, could lead to marked improvement in the condition in three months, 90 per cent relief in a year, and total cure in 18 months in children.