By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: Asthma affected 262 million persons and caused 461,000 deaths worldwide in 2019, a senior Kuwaiti health official said. Dr Abeer Al-Bahouh, Director of Health Promotion Department at Kuwait’s Health Ministry, added that the noncommunicable disease affects six percent of children and two percent of adults worldwide, which means that it must be given more attention.
The official made her statements during an awareness day organized by the Health Promotion Department in cooperation with Sabah Al-Salem specialized health center on the occasion of World Asthma Day. The infection of the small air passages in the lungs and their restriction leads to the appearance of asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, Dr Bahouh said. She added according to the World Health Organization (WHO), rising air pollution leads to increasing the severity of asthma, just like being exposed to allergy causing material and environmental irritants including polluted air indoors and outside, dust mites, and being exposed to chemicals.
She further indicated that 70 percent of asthma patients suffer from allergy and will have nasal symptoms such as congestion. Furthermore, Dr Bahouh said asthma symptoms increase during the night or while practicing sports, among other triggers that include viral infections, cold, dust, smoke, fumes, weather, grass, pollen, animal hair, certain soaps and perfumes. Dr Bahouh said asthma cannot be treated, but good management and use of inhalers can reduce the symptoms and enable patients to carry on a normal life.