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According to research, there is a gender disparity regarding the prevalence of asthma. The mechanism for this is unclear. The prevalence of asthma and its severity in the cases based on gender have been reported worldwide, with the condition becoming about 40 per cent more prevalent and severe in women than men. Not just that, women older than 15 years are 2.3 times more likely than males to be admitted to the hospital for asthma. In collaboration with The Channel 46 on World Asthma Day (3rd May), Dr Preyas Vaidya, Consultant-Pulmonologist & Sleep Medicine Expert, Hiranandani Hospital, sheds light on factors that can cause asthma and offers advice on tips to keep the medical condition under control.
Besides hormones in women and testosterone in men that can affect the chances of getting asthma, other factors that may play a role include: 1. Size Of Lungs Since female lungs are often smaller and their airways narrower than in males of similar age and size, the probability of asthma is higher in women. 2. Exposure To Allergens Women tend to be more exposed to dust mites, mould or pets at home as they tend to spend more time at home than men and mostly spend more time cleaning.
3. Menopause With the onset of menopause, some women experience increased allergies and allergic asthma. On the other hand, some might even become allergic to something that did not concern them before. 4. Weight Gain As older women are more at risk of obesity than men, this can affect the chances of them contracting asthma. 5. Caregiving Many women are the primary caregivers in their families, and this role might cause them to ignore their own symptoms/health until it is too late.
Here are some tips to help a person with asthma manage their condition better. 1. Identify Your Asthmatic Triggers & Avoid Them Different asthma patients have different triggers, and they can worsen the asthma symptoms by irritating your airways. If you know your trigger, which can be smoke, dust or even pets, it is best to avoid them.
2. Continue Your Medications Unless Advised Otherwise By A Doctor Many people think that asthma is a childhood disease that you can outgrow and stop medications once the symptoms are reduced. This is not true, as asthma can return with double severity if medications/inhalers are discontinued. If a patient feels that they have recovered, they need to consult a specialist before reducing or stopping their medication. 3. Stop Smoking Immediately, If You Do If you smoke and have asthma, then you should stop immediately. Even second-hand smoke can significantly increase the severity and frequency of your symptoms.
5. Stay Updated On All Required Vaccines Viruses like the cold and flu can affect your airways and lungs to a great extent. So, make sure to stay updated on all required vaccines to reduce your chances of contracting diseases like asthma. 6. Get Your Lung Functions Checked Annually You should get their lung functions checked yearly and make sure they are normal. If they are not, you should work with your healthcare provider to keep their lung functions normal.
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