‘More awareness needed concerning asthma’

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 4 January 2019

“Many patients stop taking their inhalers once they feel better. This can be dangerous, since discontinuing treatment means stopping the very thing that is keeping them fit and healthy. Patients should consult their doctor on each and everything that stops them from not continuing inhalers, rather than taking decision which can be dangerous,” said Dr Ajit Kulkarni, chest physician from Jehangir Hospital.

PUNE: Chest physicians from the city share that the more awareness is of paramount importance in chronic diseases like asthma. This will enable patients to participate and have a more effective role in their own treatment, working together with doctors to achieve optimal inhaler use and disease control, thereby living life to the fullest, said doctors.

Dr Ajit Kulkarni, chest physician from Jehangir Hospital said that breathefree is a public service initiative from Cipla, which recently organised a #BerokZindagi yatra in various parts of the country. 

“While encouraging an increased dialogue on the management of asthma, this campaign also directly resonates with our endeavour of enabling people with the condition to achieve more in their daily lives. The need of an hour is to overcome barriers/ taboos and understand the importance of inhalation therapy, and adhere to it,” said Kulkarni.

He further added that asthma is a chronic disease which requires long-term treatment. “Many patients stop taking their inhalers once they feel better. This can be dangerous, since discontinuing treatment means stopping the very thing that is keeping them fit and healthy. Patients should consult their doctor on each and everything that stops them from not continuing inhalers, rather than taking decision which can be dangerous,” said Kulkarni.

Echoing similar sentiments, Dr Ashish Goyal, chest physician at Jehangir Hospital added that it is very significant to change the perception towards asthma and inhalation therapy.

“While inhalation treatment can play a crucial role in reducing the impact of asthma on people’s lives, compliance is crucial. Inhaled medicines help to deliver the drugs directly to the lungs. But we need patients to adopt the treatment as they are prescribed, in order to get the full benefit. Inhalation therapy works to control asthma by preventing and relieving symptoms and reducing flare ups. But they will work if patients work in partnership with their doctors and take them in the way they are prescribed,” said Goyal.

He further added that although asthma is not curable, it is possible to gain complete control over it and lead a normal active life.

He added that the initiative by Cipla will travel across Maharashtra for 75 days across 150 small towns and villages. The van is equipped with information on asthma , its symptoms, breathometers and the initiative will include free screening and consultation from doctors.

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