Let asthma not be a road block in your life: Experts

For the first time in the country, the doctors along with stakeholders and the real-life heroes, who not only successfully managed their asthma but achieved professional excellence, came forward to motivate other asthmatics

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Gurgaon: For the first time in the country, in the ‘Asthma Dialogue’ program, organized by Centre for Respiratory Diseases, W Pratiksha Hospital Gurgaon, the respiratory experts, stakeholders and real-life heroes shared the stage to demystify Asthma, to clear the misconceptions around Asthma and its treatment.

Along with leading pulmonologists, the ace badminton player, Parupalli Kashyap and Chak de India fame, Shubhi Mehtra were present as guest speakers.

While sharing his journey with the audience, P Kashyap, who has recently married the noted badminton player, Saina Nehwal, smashed all the stereotype around Asthma, by saying, “Asthma is not curable but it can be controlled well enough and it should not be a deterrent in leading the life of your dreams. If Asthma has not limited my life, then why yours?”

The aim of the this unique, ‘Asthma Dialogue’ program was to help people with asthma see Asthma in the right perspective clearing the clouded vision which generally people have.

Dr Himanshu Garg, Head, Department of Pulmonology, W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “When it comes to Asthma, there is a lack of insight and lots of misconception and myths surrounding the disease and its available treatments. Right from the people hesitating to come forward to seek the medical help to follow the advice given, considering the rising prevalence of Asthma in the country, we have a great impending battle. It is high time that an initiative like this is taken to combat this alarming situation.”

To reach out to people with real-life success stories, and to change their mindset around Asthma and its treatment, the experts and the chief guests repeatedly asserted on the point that it is a misconception that Asthmatics have to live a compromised life.

Dr Pratibha Dogra, Sr. Consultant, Department of Pulmonology, W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurgaon said , “Asthma in India comes with huge social stigma. Forget about taking the right treatment, people even fear to get diagnosed with Asthma and often hide their diagnosis which makes them delay the right treatment which harms them in the long term. Also there is resistance in starting and often leads to poor compliance. The real-life heroes present between us are proof that Asthma, if managed timely and properly, can never become an obstacle in life. We need to understand that there is nothing wrong in getting diagnosed with Asthma, but not addressing it properly.”

Experts believe that such outreach programs are very important in the country like India, where despite the availability of better diagnostic tools and treatment options for Asthma, it remains poorly managed. According to a study, published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, asthmatics in India believed that their asthma was under control if they have up to 2 emergency doctor visits a year. The quality of life of these patients was significantly affected with 93% school/work absenteeism and a loss of 50% productivity. 75% of the asthmatics have never had a lung function test. Only 36% and 50% of Indian asthmatics used controller and rescue inhalers with a majority preferring the oral route of asthma medication.

Giving incredibly high levels of pollutions and rising asthma prevalence, the study paints a dismal picture and calls for sustained efforts and more reach-out programs, like ‘Asthma Dialogue’.