Every year the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) organises World Asthma Day. The aim of this awareness day is to reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity and mortality in every corner of the globe. Their first awareness day was held in 1998. And so this year they are celebrating the 20th annual World Asthma Day. And every year they have a theme. The theme for 2018 is “Never too early, never too late. It’s always the right time to address airways disease.”
World Asthma Day 2018
This year’s theme asks both patients and healthcare providers to evaluate asthma symptoms, regardless of the time in that person’s life. In addition, they ask for actions to be taken to ensure a person's asthma is controlled. For example, writing an Asthma Plan that contains all you need to help control your asthma, such as a list of asthma triggers, is a core part of asthma management.
There are many things that may trigger an asthma attack. In fact, anything that irritates the airways and sets off symptoms is considered an asthma trigger. Exercise is one such trigger. Yet evidence shows that people with asthma will benefit from exercise. In fact, there are many world-class athletes, including Paula Radcliffe MBE, that have asthma.
Asthma and exercise
As long as your asthma symptoms are under control then asthma shouldn’t stop you from enjoying these benefits of exercise:
- Boosts the immune system, reducing the possibility of coughs and colds triggering symptoms
- Increases bone and muscle strength
- Improves overall health
- Improves how well the lungs work, reducing the feeling of being breathless
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute explain that asthma is a long-term disease that requires managing. And because there is no cure, the purpose of asthma treatment is to control the disease. This includes two types of medicines:
- Long-term control medicines - these help reduce airway inflammation and prevent asthma symptoms.
- Quick-relief, or 'rescue' medicines - these relieve asthma symptoms that have the potential to flare up.
However, there is also a drug-free therapy that is clinically proven to help reduce asthma symptoms - Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT). Always speak to a medical professional about your medical issues or concerns first.
Natural asthma treatment without drugs
Inspiratory muscle training is a drug-free breathing training intervention for people with dyspnoea (difficult or laboured breathing). It’s not surprising, therefore, that clinical trials are unanimously supportive of IMT in the management of asthma.
In trials, patients with asthma experienced a reduction in their laboured breathing in as little as 3 weeks’ inspiratory muscle training. Furthermore, they felt improvements in their quality of life. In addition, longer-term observations following 3 weeks of IMT were also impressive:
- Reduces absence from school/work (by ~95%)
- Reduces the consumption of medication (by ~79%)
- Symptoms improve by up to 75%
WHO asthma statistics
- Asthma is a major noncommunicable disease
- Approximately 235 million people suffer from asthma (2017) which is common among children
- Medication can control asthma symptoms
- Asthma management helps people with asthma to enjoy a quality of life
- Many people have undiagnosed asthma