The environment around us is changing rapidly, unfortunately for the worse. It is giving birth to health risks which are serious and life threatening. One such threat is the condition called 'Bronchial Asthma', which is increasing worldwide. The causes are clearly noticeable in surroundings we live in, like pollen, dust, passive or active smoking, emissions from vehicles, furs of pets like dogs and cats, or even foods which a person is allergic to.
As India is increasingly becoming an industrialised country, the rising chances for the occurrence of bronchial asthma are also imminent. Currently, about 2.4% of the total population of the country is suffering from the condition. Prompted by the escalating incidence, Vallabhai Patel Chest Institute, Delhi, organised the 41st Annual Conference of The Indian College of Allergy, Asthma & Applied Immunology (ICAAICON, 2007) on Dec 9, which went on till Dec 12. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Ambumani Ramadoss, Honourable Minister of Health, Family & Social Welfare. Dr. Raj Kumar, Deptt. Of Pulmonary Medicine, V.P. Chest Institute said, "First of all, nobody is immune to this disease. The effect on a person affected by it is quite troubling for him. Their normal routine gets disrupted as a result. For example: In case of a school going child, if he or she has the problem, they can't concentrate on their studies and sometimes, it gets so severe that they have to be called back home. Immediate treatment is required in that case. I would also emphasise that if it is not treated properly, death is very likely in some cases."
Dr. VK Vijayan, Director of VP Chest Institute said, "Lungs are the only organs that get abused externally as well as internally. Lungs play an important role in purifying blood which is then supplied to the heart for it to keep pumping. So, take care of them. Even if the disease is hereditary, we can prevent the triggering or aggravating factors to enable the patients to lead a normal life." Adding to this, he said, "Pregnant women shouldn't smoke as it would have a dire impact on the babies in the form of developing a bronchial condition. Therefore, they must avoid it."
When we talk about cure for the condition, people are just satisfied with taking reliever medicines, which only work as a temporary relief and there is all the likelihood of the recurring attack. As Dr. Raj Kumar said, "We can have great success in helping people live an active life if they take preventive medicines. But the sad part is that there is lack of awareness on that front and if people start shifting to preventive medicines, then there would be a significant turnaround. This is what we wanted to bring into notice through the event."
The four-day scientific gala witnessed around 500 eminent national and international health professionals, scholars and scientists working in the fields of allergy, asthma and immunology discussing various aspects of asthma, like occurrence, diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures. Major pharmaceutical companies also took part in the event, showcasing their products in treating this disorder.
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