May 2 is observed as World Asthma Day to raise awareness and improve asthma care around the globe. The theme for World Asthma Day focuses on promoting control and reducing the burden of asthma on individuals, families and communities of the chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people worldwide and can have a significant impact on quality of life.
The day provides an opportunity to educate the public about asthma and advocate for better access to treatment and care.
Asthma is known to cause higher mortality and morbidity rates if not addressed at the right time hence, it is imperative for those with asthma to go for regular health check-ups without fail to enhance their quality of life.
According to a doctors’ body here, air pollution and fast food are causing a spike in asthma cases in the Valley. It said air quality in Kashmir has been constantly deteriorating for the past few years due to the increasing number of vehicles, construction, brick kiln, cement and other factories which emit pollutants and significantly pollute air.
Asthma is a lung disease commonly seen in people of all age groups. The disease is associated with one’s airways getting narrow and swollen and blocked owing to excess mucus. This condition affects millions of people in the globe and can become fatal if one doesn’t seek timely intervention.
The factors causing asthma are allergens, pollen, dust, molds, pet dander, perfume, fumes, chemicals, air pollution, respiratory infections, second hand smoke, family history, certain medications, stress, exercise and cockroaches and even mice, according to experts.
A study published in the British Medical Journal has found that children exposed to higher levels of environmental pollutants are more likely to develop asthma compared to children who were not exposed.
As per a separate study, children and teenagers are nearly 40% more likely to have asthma if they eat fast food more than three times a week.
Over the years fast food has largely replaced homemade meals in Kashmir and children and teens are often seen taking foods like burgers, pizzas, French fries and noodles.
This change in dietary habits from homemade to processed and convenient foods could be another reason for rise in asthma cases, the Doctors Body said
There is need to control environmental pollution as well as educate parents to encourage children to eat a healthy diet and avoid fast foods.