Often times, when we see people someone gasping continuously inside the car or along the road, they are quick to say there is somebody in the village trying to kill the person. A general physician, Peter Atangwho, has said asthma is neither a curse nor spiritual attack, however, it is a lung disease that can be effectively controlled with medication and some lifestyle modifications.
According to his recent interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Atangwho, the chief executive officer, TeleMed Online Clinic described asthma as “a chronic lung disease characterised by recurrent breathing problems, and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.”
The World Health Organisation gave the prevalence of asthma attack recently saying, it has affected an estimated 262 million people in 2019 and caused 461000 deaths, noting that it is the most common chronic disease among children.
”Asthma is a serious disease that affects about 25 million Americans and causes nearly 1.6 million emergency room visits every year. With treatment, you can live well. Without it, you might have to go to the ER often or stay at the hospital, which can affect your daily life” it added.
The general physician said even though there is no cure for asthma, it can be effectively controlled with medication and some lifestyle modifications.
“Asthma is not a curse, it is not a punishment, it is not a condemnation, and it is not a death sentence. It is not a punishment for evil; it is not a vote of no confidence on your life, and it is not a spiritual attack from your village people,” Atangwho said.
He added that there is a need to raise the awareness to address some of these common widely held misconceptions.
He also advised asthmatic patients to prioritise their health by carrying their inhalers with them at all times, adding that they should avoid dust or wearing strong perfumes that could trigger asthma symptoms.
He further told them to avoid the use of rug carpet and Nonsteridal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen as it might cause severe spasms of the airways.
“If you have asthma, go around with your inhaler, except your symptoms of asthma are well controlled. If you are still using inhalers for control, please keep your inhalers handy at all times,” he advised.
He noted the importance of them taking their inhalers along with them whenever they are going to school, shop and as well travelling, adding that no one can tell when an asthmatic attack will come.
“Your life first. Let your inhaler be the first thing you remember to take along before your phone,” the expert explained.