Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bangalore still carries 'asthma city' tag

Bangalore still carries 'asthma city' tag
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Both the private and public health care establishments here have joined hands to execute a health city project that they believe would give Bangalore a prominent place on the health destination map. But, it seems, they are unaware how a simple weed like Parthenium could stand in their way.

‘‘Whatever modern or advanced facilities the hospitals here are planning to provide, the city will still have the infamous tag of asthma city,’’ says K.C. Francis, an asthma patient residing at Dasarahalli.

It’s high time the city is cleared of eradicable allergens like Parthenium which triggers asthmatic attacks and provide a healthy environment for citizens, he adds. Francis, a contractor of fabrication works and a resident since 1973, says he rarely has asthma attacks when out of Bangalore.

And, the number of asthmatic patients in the city are increasing, says Dr. K.N. Mohan Rao, head of the pulmonology department at the M.S. Ramaiah Hospital. ‘‘There are various allergens including dust mites, pollens and cat and dog allergens besides air pollution and viral infections that cause asthma attacks,’’ he says.


Pollens cause two types of reactions on persons predisposed to asthma, Dr. Rao says. ‘‘One are the symptoms pertaining to the nose - allergic rhinitis - characterised by itching, a running nose and repeated sneezes. Asthmatic attacks come next.’’

Weeds like Parthenium have proven to cause either allergic rhinitis or asthmatic attacks in asthma patients, he says. The symptoms of an attack include a dry cough, tightness in chest, wheezing, breathlessness and sleep disturbances.

‘‘Continuous exposure to allergens like Parthenium could prove fatal for asthma patients as it can lead to a permanent damage of the lungs affecting the respiratory functions.’’ And beware of winter and spring when Parthenium strikes most dangerously.


The best option is to remove the offending object, Dr. Rao says. ‘‘Patients should point out the substances that cause asthma attacks. There are certain tests that can identify the causative allergens,’’ he says.

Those predisposed to such attacks should live in a well-ventilated house, keep the rooms warm (reduce dampness), remove the weeds in the surrounding areas and take immediate precautions when you catch a common cold.

‘‘Through desensitisation we can reduce the incidence or severity of such attacks. But treatment with drugs is the only option once the symptoms are manifested,’’ Dr. Rao says. Inhalers which act quickly and do not cause addiction are now available. Patients can go in for anti-asthmatic tablets or syrups and can stop the medication gradually once relieved of the symptoms.


At Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 4:18:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! It's terrific to be able to catch the latest Bangalore news in one place. Extremely useful blog, this.

At Saturday, January 15, 2005 at 10:16:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. Good social service. Thanks Bangalorean.


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