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Asthma and COPD

  • Asthma


Asthma is a chronic disease that affects both children and adults. The airways in the lungs contract as a result of inflammation and tightening of the muscles surrounding the fine respiratory passages. This causes symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. Factors that can exacerbate asthma symptoms, include dust, smoke and viral infections such as colds.

Asthma is often under-diagnosed and inadequately treated. 


Asthma cannot be cured, but effective inhaler treatment allows people with asthma to manage this chronic disease. There are two types of inhalers available: bronchodilators, which open up the airways and ease symptoms, and corticosteroids, which reduce airway inflammation. 


In most cases, the inhalers can improve asthma symptoms and reduce the likelihood of a serious or fatal asthma attack. People with asthma sometimes need to use their inhalers every day. Treatment is determined based on the frequency of patient symptoms and on the types of inhalers available.


In 2019, an estimated 262 million people were living with asthma. 

Source: World Health Organization


  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) 


COPD is a common chronic lung disease. It was the third leading cause of death worldwide in 2019, resulting in 3.23 million deaths. The following common COPD symptoms develop at around 45 years of age: shortness of breath or dyspnea; chronic cough, often accompanied by sputum; and/or fatigue.


Asthma and COPD share certain common symptoms (coughing, wheezing, dyspnea), and some people have both.


Significant COPD risk factors include exposure to tobacco smoke and indoor air pollution, as well as occupational exposure to dust, smoke and chemical products. 

Source: World Health Organization


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