Asthma threat increases for Puneites as pollution rises

Asthma threat increases for Puneites as pollution rises

Pune: People living in Pune are at greater risk of asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases, as the level of pollution is increasing along with the change in weather. Doctors suggest inhalation therapy to improve symptom control and lung function among adults, adolescents and children. 

According to the Air Quality Index website, Bhosari and Hadapsar ranks top on the list with 223 Particulate Matter (PM 2.5), Shivajinagar with 165 (PM 2.5) and Alandi at 132 (PM 2.5). The change in weather affects the children, elderly, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Mahendra Kawadia, Director, Kawadia Hospital, said that the onset of winter makes it difficult for asthmatic patients to breathe. “Many patients and their family members are unaware about the causes of asthma and its treatment. It is necessary to educate the stakeholders about the minimal side-effect of inhaled corticosteroids, which is also called ‘Inhalation Therapy’,” said Kawadia.

Explaining the ‘Inhalation therapy’, Dr Barnali Bhattacharya, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Kartik Clinic, said that the natural steroid present in the human body deals with inflammation. “Inhalation therapy consists of an inhaler pump to access the corticosteroids into the airway passage and relieve the breathing problem.

“The word steroids evoke apprehensions in the minds of patients, causing them to shy away from inhalers and opt for oral medications. Inhaled corticosteroids are recommended rather than oral corticosteroids,” said Bhattacharya.
Further explaining the benefits, Dr Amir Khoja, Pulmonologist at Ruby Hall Hospital, said that in the inhalation therapy, the inflammation of the airway requires a very small quantity of corticosteroids.

“Around 25 to 100 micrograms of corticosteroids is needed, but when it is consumed through the oral or intestinal route, the amount administered is very large, about 10,000 micrograms since only a fraction of the drug administered reaches the lungs. 

This means that every time an asthma patient pops a pill or a tablet, he or she is actually taking almost 200 times the amount of medication required, leading to ill effects on health,” 
said Khoja.

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