The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a joint World Health Organization initiative launched in 1993, coordinates World Asthma Day. Every May, there is a global awareness campaign called World Asthma Day.
Breathing issues are brought on by the lung condition chronic asthma. Breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, and a tightness in the chest are all signs of asthma. Both the frequency and intensity of these symptoms vary. If those symptoms are not managed, the airways may swell and make breathing challenging. It is a chronic illness that causes your airways to constrict, swell, and possibly create more mucus.
A person with asthma may have trouble breathing, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Even while there is no known cure for asthma, it is feasible to manage the condition to lessen and even stop asthma attacks, also known as episodes or exacerbations.
The first Tuesday in May is recognised as World Asthma Day. GINA selects a subject for World Asthma Day each year and organises the creation and distribution of materials and resources. Additionally, GINA manages the World Asthma Day Internet Headquarters, where a comprehensive list of worldwide events is continuously updated and resources and materials are posted for download.The World Asthma Day date this year is set for May 2, 2023.
The first World Asthma Day was observed in 1998. It started as an endeavour by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a medical guidelines organisation set up in 1993. More than 35 countries participated in the maiden World Asthma Day that was held on the sidelines of the World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Since then, World Asthma Day has been held every year on the first Tuesday of May, and participation has grown manifold in these two decades. It is the primary event to raise awareness about asthma and take a collective, collaborative approach against it.
First Mention of Asthma
Breathlessness and asthma are mentioned in Chinese and Egyptian writings.
460 to 370 B.C.
Hippocrates Mentions Asthma
In ancient Greece, Hippocrates was the first to both identify the illness of asthma and establish a link between it and environmental factors.
Drawings are Made
Drawings by Henry Hyde Salter of asthma attacks in the lungs depict the condition of the lungs with precision.
Similarities Between Allergies and Asthma
Asthma causes and allergic diseases share similarities, according to William Osler.
Inhaler like Hairspray
After a girl questioned why asthma medications weren't available in cans like hairspray, inhalers were created.
According to the Global Asthma Report 2018, more than 1,000 people succumb to asthma daily. The numbers are frightening and call for massive awareness, affordable and quality healthcare and a concerted global approach. Over 300 million people are afflicted with asthma every year, and what's worse is that it is not at all diagnosed in most cases and thus leads to untimely death. Early diagnosis and timely treatment, for which awareness is crucial, can save lives. The numbers are increasing each year and unless there's global cooperation and widespread awareness, the disease will continue to spread rampantly. This is where the need for World Asthma Day arises.
Your doctor might recommend a few tests to examine your lung function in addition to certain imaging tests, allergy testing, a methacholine challenge, and nitric oxide tests to determine the problem. The key to managing asthma, which is a chronic condition with no known treatment, is to limit exposure to triggers. The doctor might suggest certain drugs, inhalers, or steroids to successfully treat your symptoms. Asthma symptoms might alter over time, so it's critical to communicate with your doctor about your symptoms and modify your therapy as necessary.
Although it is true that asthma cannot be prevented, there are techniques to ease the symptoms of asthma and lessen the frequency of attacks.
Take the medications prescribed by your doctor to treat an asthma attack, and stick to your plan of action since managing your asthma requires constant attention to your health and control over your life.
Vaccinate regularly to avoid illnesses like the flu and pneumonia, which can cause asthma attacks.
Understanding and avoiding your asthma triggers
Regular checks with the doctor are advised because asthma symptoms can alter.
You're less likely to get a severe asthma attack if you respond promptly.
Pay attention to how frequently you use the quick-relief inhaler and talk to your doctor about it.
Numerous people all around the world suffer from asthma; some choose to treat the condition, while others choose not to. The following are some asthma-related facts:
A significant noncommunicable disease (NCD) that can affect both adults and children is asthma.
Boys are more likely than girls to have asthma as children, but women seem to be more likely than men to develop it as adults.
In 2019, asthma is predicted to have killed 4,61,000 individuals and afflicted 262 million more.
The most prevalent chronic illness among children is asthma.
The number of patients with asthma increased by 15% in the last ten years.
WHO is dedicated to enhancing asthma diagnosis, management, and monitoring.
Uncovering Asthma Myths is the focus of World Asthma Day in 2023. This is intended as a call to action to dispel widespread misconceptions and falsehoods regarding asthma. These false beliefs frequently have negative effects and do little to spread knowledge about asthma. They also restrict asthma sufferers from taking advantage of significant advancements in the treatment of this ailment.
Here are some widespread misconceptions and fallacies about asthma:
Asthma spreads easily.
Everyone outgrows their asthma in childhood.
The only treatment for asthma is high dose steroid therapy.
People with this condition shouldn't exercise out.
Various health insurance companies and prominent hospitals around the world organise events and functions to increase awareness about asthma amongst the general public. For instance, the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA) created a ‘Know your air for health’ website in order to draw attention to rising pollution levels and how they are negatively affecting asthma patients. Similar steps are taken/events are organised by local authorities to help the cause of asthma patients. You can check with your local hospitals and NGOs to see which events are being planned for World Asthma Day.
Here are some useful steps and actions you can take to do your part for World Asthma Day 2023:
Groups and organisations can invite health professionals for a discussion on the ways to detect symptoms and seek treatment.
Conduct Awareness Drives
Any outdoor excursion can be conducted along with a few asthma patients and medical professionals. It will provide useful information on how anyone suffering from asthma can control it outdoors if a sudden attack occurs. Schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions can conduct interactive awareness drives.
Leverage Social Media
Everyone can take a few minutes out of their daily routines and trend #WorldAsthmaDay and #WAD on social media platforms during World Asthma Day 2023.
If you have the funds to spare, you could donate money, medical equipment, etc. to non-profit organisations that are working relentlessly for treating asthma patients.
Asthma tends to be hereditary, so there's a likelihood of a child developing it if someone in the family already has it. Dust particles, pollen, air pollution, and smoke can exacerbate asthma symptoms.
It's not at all clear whether air purifiers have any effect on reducing the intensity and duration of asthma attacks. However, it can be tried if the air is too polluted.
There's no complete cure for asthma yet, but there have been cases where disease vanishes after years of regular medication. However, it may recur again in the patient.
Asthma can begin at any age, however, over 50% of patients report their first symptoms before the age of 10. There are also many cases of children below the age of 6 getting asthmatic attacks.
Every year, World Asthma Day falls on the first Tuesday in the month of May.
Asthma Day is celebrated to spread knowledge about asthma and enhance the lives of everyone who has the disease.