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Rise in asthma linked to pollution

Experts blamed the pollution for a 10-15 per cent rise in the number of asthma cases over the past three years and hoped awareness about the disease would go a long way in combating the problem.

On World Asthma Day on Tuesday, experts said in case of recurrent cough and breathing problems, one should consult a doctor immediately as the person might be suffering from asthma.

“Three years ago, in the outpatient department of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), we used to get one to two new cases of asthma daily. Now, we get four to five cases everyday. Definitely, there has been a rise in cases of asthma and this is mainly because of the pollution. Lack of awareness also increases the chances of asthma attacks,” said JKL Das, the head of the medicine department of PMCH.

“In severe cases, patients are given cortisone injection regularly with inhalation therapy to keep the disease under control. Besides, we also suggest breathing exercises to prevent asthmatic attacks,” added Das.

V.P. Sinha, another medico of the medicine department of PMCH, said: “Many asthma patients avoid taking inhalers in the initial phase of their disease. They think once they start using inhalers, they would get into a habit. Hence they avoid it. But this should not be done. If asthma patients start using inhalers from the beginning, it can reduce the chances of asthma attacks.”

Physician Diwakar Tejaswi said: “Many times owing to unawareness, asthma patients take cough syrup. This could be dangerous for them. It can trigger palpitation, increase breathing problem and cause other side-effects.”