lungs in Delhi seem to be in dire straits. In the midst of ever thickening air pollution and life style gone astray, lung power is ebbing fast. According to the WHO estimates, India has the largest number of deaths due to chronic respiratory diseases in the world. Most number of asthma deaths in the world occurs in India, and in deaths due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) India ranks number two after China. On World Asthma Day, experts have emphasised for generating awareness on regular lung check ups.
Chronic exposures to indoor and outdoor air pollutants have been a major risk factor for the growing burden of chronic respiratory diseases in India. Some 235 million people suffer from asthma. It is the most common chronic disease among children. Asthma is not just a public health problem for high income countries: it occurs in all countries regardless of level of development.
For most, it can be the triggering cause of asthma and one of the first steps to identify your lung health is to ‘know your lung number’. lung function means how well your lungs work. When you have asthma, your lungs can’t move as much air in and out as they should. And the more serious your asthma is, the less air your lungs are able to move. In the same manner, an asthmatic patient or people who feel breathless should make a point to get their lung function checked. The check-up will help you ‘know your lung number’. The number is obtained through simple and inexpensive pulmonary function tests like ‘spirometry test’.
Stretching on the importance of lung check-up, Dr. Karan Madan, Assistant Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders, AIIMS said, “We should remember that asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure, but can be controlled well through inhalers. There are many patients who will stop taking their inhalers once they feel better. This can be dangerous and affect their breathing and doing even daily chores can make them breathless. Patients should consult their doctor and the necessary tests performed to keep their lungs healthy and fit.”