WORLD Asthma Day is on May 1. In South Africa, Asthma affects approximately 15% of children, and 1 in 20 adults according to a press release from the National Asthma educational programme which is focussing this year on the education of children and, through them, the parents.
FACTS ABOUT ASTHMA:
· It is a long-standing chronic condition twice as common in boys than girls.
· It is not curable but can be controlled by proper medication.
· Exercise is good for asthmatics
· Classic symptoms include: coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest, increased effort during breathing, increased respiratory rate and inefficient gaseous exchange.
· Asthma is caused by the inflammation of the airways, which causes swelling and the narrowing of the airways. In an acute attack, airways are further narrowed by the contraction of the airway muscles.
· Asthma can develop at any age and has to be considered in every child presenting with wheezing. Inhalation of cigarette smoke during pregnancy has been linked with abnormal lung functions, airway hyper-reactivity and allergies in new borns.
Tobacco smoke is also an important trigger factor for asthma attacks.
The National Asthma Education programme is a NPO aimed at disseminating information about asthma diagnosis and treatment through workshops, courses and meetings.
telephone: 021 830 5937.