We have often heard of asthma or know people who suffer from the disease. Many of us have a limited understanding of how asthma can impact a person’s life. Let’s understand asthma and how it affects a person’s lifestyle.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects a person’s lungs. The air passages constrict because the muscles tighten or get inflamed, making breathing difficult. Symptoms of asthma include tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. It’s a non-communicable disease that affects both adults and children.
What Causes Asthma?
Asthma can be caused by:
Individuals who have close relatives with asthma may also suffer from the disease.
People who suffer from allergic conditions like eczema may be predisposed to developing asthma.
Those who experience viral lung infections or have a low birth weight and underdeveloped lungs could have asthma.
Individuals exposed to high levels of tobacco smoke, air pollution, mould, chemicals, fumes and dust are likely to develop asthma.
Children and adults who are obese or overweight have a higher chance of developing asthma.
Dealing with Asthma
Asthma does not have a cure, but there are ways people can manage their symptoms and enjoy life. Let’s look at how people deal with asthma:
Medicines that help the muscles around airways relax are called bronchodilators. They are administered through inhalers and help relieve symptoms when they occur. Individuals use bronchodilators during an active asthma attack when their symptoms worsen.
Asthma patients may also have to take anti-inflammatory medications every day. Doctors may prescribe them to reduce swelling in the airway and limit mucus production, allowing air to move freely.
What Does Asthma Control Mean?
People who get asthma treatment try and control their symptoms. The treatment should help them:
- Manage daily activities at home and work
- Have minimal to no active asthma symptoms
- Sleep without asthma interrupting their rest
Asthma in India
According to the World Health Organisation, most asthma-related deaths occur in developing countries due to under-diagnosis or under-treatment. As per a 2012 study, India has 30 million asthma patients, and roughly 57,000 deaths in the country in 2004 were caused by asthma.
Asthma and Health Insurance Plans
Several health plans in India include coverage for asthma. If you get diagnosed with asthma before buying health insurance coverage, it becomes a pre-existing disease. Pre-existing diseases have a waiting period of around two years before your insurance company will cover claims for expenses related to them. While looking for health insurance plans for family members with asthma, you must look for a few crucial covers. Ensure that your family floater health insurance covers outpatient procedures. Severe asthma attacks require immediate medical attention, so hospitalisation and outpatient procedures should be covered. You also need health insurance cover for diagnostic tests. Doctors often recommend X-rays and pulmonary function tests to diagnose asthma. If you want to increase your healthcare insurance cover, you should opt for super top-up health insurance plans. When the time comes to renew health insurance, you can get super top-up insurance for enhanced coverage.
Dealing with asthma can seem tricky. Getting a diagnosis and treatment on time is crucial. You can then enjoy a fulfilling life without letting the disease disrupt your life.