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Asthma on rise, warn doctors

Asthma patients are not just growing in Jharkhand, they are getting younger too.

Ranchi-based doctors Shyamal Sarkar and Ajit Sahay made this alarming disclosure on Monday at a news conference on the eve of World Asthma Day, which is observed on May 6.

Dr Sarkar, a veteran physician, said there was no definite statistics to ascertain the exact number of asthmatic people in Jharkhand. “But, the numbers are definitely increasing as we are getting more patients these days,” he added.

Sarkar added asthma was usually hereditary, but many others contracted it too. “If neglected, the condition of the patient may aggravate, making hospitalisation necessary,” he said.

Child specialist Dr Ajit Sahay said the number of children contracting the disease had significantly gone up.

“Rise in pollution has also contributed to an increase in the number of asthma patients,” he added.

The doctors maintained that if diagnosed early, modern treatments like inhalation therapy can help keep the disease under control. Under those circumstances, a patient can lead a normal life, which is of paramount importance to younger patients.

“In many cases, patients feel relief after taking medicines for a couple of weeks. They stop medication midway. These people run the risk of recurrence or an asthma attack,” said Sarkar.

The specialist added that one must consult a doctor if a cough persists, or if a persons feels chest congestion and difficulty in breathing.

“We have also observed that many people are not in the favour of using inhalers. However, they are very dependable and have minimal side effects,” he said.