Priyanka Chopra’s Battle With Asthma: What You Should Know About This Respiratory Disease

Panaimaram

Indian actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra revealed that she's asthmatic and explained how it didn't stop her from achieving her dreams. This came into light when she tweeted about a campaign where she is seen talking about how she did not let asthma control her.

tweeted, "Those who know me well know that I'm an asthmatic. I mean, what's to hide? I knew that I had to control my asthma before it controlled me. As long as I've got my inhaler, asthma can't stop me from achieving my goals and living a 'Berok Zindagi',".

Asthma is an inflammatory condition that has affected 300 million people worldwide and about a tenth of those living in India. In the Indian subcontinent, the prevalence of childhood asthma has continued to increase in the last 10 years.

Asthma occurs when the inside walls of the airways are swollen or inflamed. This makes the airways very sensitive to irritations and increases your susceptibility to an allergic reaction. As inflammation and swelling make your airways become narrower, less air is able to pass through the airways which affects your breathing.

Allergic reactions triggered by antibodies can sometimes lead to airway inflammation that is linked to asthma. Asthma is caused mostly due to indoor allergens like dust mites, fungi or normal air dust while cleaning the house.

Tobacco smoke is another cause of asthma and might lead to death due to respiratory infections. Smokers and passive smokers are at a higher risk of asthma.

Obese adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater are 38 per cent more likely to have asthma compared to adults who aren't overweight.

When pregnant women smoke during pregnancy, their children tend to have a lower pulmonary function which possesses additional asthma risk.

Asthma can be hereditary too. According to the USA Centers for Disease Control, a parent suffering from asthma increases the child's risk of getting asthma by three to six times.

Heavy air pollution, sulfur dioxide, ozone, cold temperatures, nitrogen oxide and high humidity have been shown to trigger

The diagnosis of asthma is done on three core components which include medical history, physical exam, and breathing tests.

Your doctor will ask your detailed family history which will help the doctor to make an accurate asthma diagnosis. You should divulge the necessary details of asthma like when and how often they occur and what factors worsen the symptoms.

A physical exam is done which mainly focuses on the chest, skin and upper respiratory tract. With the use of a stethoscope, the doctor will listen to the signs of asthma in your lungs which is a whistling sound while you breathe.

The doctor will also check for a runny nose, nasal polyps and the skin is examined for conditions such as hives and eczema which are linked to asthma.

Lung function test or pulmonary function test is another part of asthma diagnosis. It is done by a spirometry test which is conducted by measuring how much air you inhale and how fast can you exhale.

Other tests like allergy tests and tests for other diseases which resemble asthma symptoms are done. Allergy tests are conducted to identify substances that may be worsening asthma. Diseases with similar symptoms of asthma are also checked like reflux disease, sinusitis, heartburn, airway destruction, bronchitis, lung infection, congestive heart failure, etc.

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Asthma isn't curable but, it can be controlled with the following treatment procedures.

A nebulizer provides a large and continuous dose. It works by vaporizing a dose of medication in a saline solution into a steady stream of foggy vapour which the patient inhales.

The medications for controlling asthma are categorized into two which are quick-relief medicine or long-term control medicine. The medicines can be had in the form of pills or tablets, but most are in powdered form which is taken orally through an inhaler.

It is a small hand-held tool that can help in controlling asthma by giving you a measurement of how well the air is moving out of the lungs. To know your peak flow number you have to exhale forcefully into the device after inhaling fully. Knowing this number would help you manage your asthma symptoms and prevent an asthma attack.

Until and unless the asthma is under control, you should visit your doctor every 2 to 6 weeks. The doctor will devise the measures or medication to bring the condition under control.

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