Dubai, UAE: Asthma, which affects nearly two-thirds of the UAE population and carries a Dh200 million health cost annually, can be managed very well and exacerbation episodes reduced with a definite improvement in the quality of a patient’s life, health experts said at a media round table.
The event introduced an innovative broncho-dilator inhaler coupled with the launch of an interactive website to educate patients.
Dr Bassam Mahboub, head of the allergy and respiratory department, Rashid Hospital, explained that asthma was the leading chronic disease starting in childhood. “Asthma is a condition that causes inflammation of the airways, causing breathlessness, wheezing, cough and chest lightness. In many cases severe exacerbations can also be fatal,” he warned.
While a genetic predisposition makes people highly susceptible, environmental allergens such as smoke, pollen, dust, etc, are common triggers that can cause asthma.
Nearly two-thirds of the people in UAE have asthma and struggle to control flare-ups, with 40 per cent of the people affected having at least two episodes, and 11 per cent children and three per cent adults require hospitalisation to mitigate the symptoms. “Breath is life and asthma management can really make a difference to the quality of life in patients,” said Dr Mahboub.
Dr Mahboub quoted an as yet unpublished study on asthma conducted in the UAE: “This study revealed that as many as 13 per cent of adolescents in the UAE and their parents have this condition and there is need for greater education and awareness on how to manage the condition so that patients can lead a good quality of life by minimising serious episodes,” he said.
The health specialists want to work with long-term goals of asthma management to achieve good symptom control, minimise future risk of exacerbations and side effects of treatments, he pointed out.
Mohammad Al Tawil, general manager of Boehringer Ingleheim, that organised the event, explained the functioning of the innovative inhaler that is non-steroidal. “This is a unique broncho dilator that patients need to take two puffs of once daily. It creates an easy-to-inhale low speed mist that precipitates in the lungs and immediately provides relief. It is not something that can cause dependence,” he explained.
© Gulf NewsNov 2015