People with asthma should take extra care in fall and winter – O Presente

At least 300 million people in the world have asthma and in Brazil this number reaches more than 20 million. In the Unified Health System (SUS), the disease fluctuates between third and fourth position in the ranking of causes of hospitalization, with the months of April to July recording the highest number of hospitalizations for asthma, according to the Society. Brazilian Pulmonology and Tisiology.

With the onset of cold weather, the Instituto do Coração de l’Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP (InCor) warns of the need to redouble care, since the variations in dry weather, typical of autumn and winter, are conducive to an increase in cases.

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According to InCor, the combination of pollution, lack of rain and cold weather drives many asthmatics to emergency departments with worrisome but preventable attacks. The basic recommendation is to keep the disease treated throughout the year, to achieve healthy fall.

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Nied maio 2022 Y

This is what Michele Benevides, 36, diagnosed with severe asthma at the age of 20, set out to do, having already gone through more than 30 hospitalizations due to flare-ups of the disease. She went into cardiac arrest, anaphylactic shock and ended up in an intensive care unit (ICU). For this reason he began to pay more attention to his health to face the cold and this was decisive in changing his life.

“The seasonality of fall and winter is always very difficult for those who suffer from asthma. This is the time when the crises appear the most. So I always try to avoid the cold and the lack of thermal protection. I have a very big gain to be accompanied by a doctor and to take the right drugs, it was essential for me not to evolve in my condition at this time of the year. All this also prevented me from having new hospitalizations and even consultations in the emergency room,” he said.

Asthma is an inflammation of the bronchi, small structures responsible for the exchange of air in the lungs. The inflammatory process causes airway swelling and mucus production which, alone or in combination, can cause mild to extreme shortness of breath. The most common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. The disease affects children, young people and adults.

According to the director of the InCor Asthma outpatient clinic, pulmonologist Rafael Stelmach, low temperatures and humidity, allergenic agents such as particles in the air, fungi and dust mites, and infections typical of the season, including including the flu and colds, environmental factors are factors that can cause asthma attacks. Without proper treatment and drug therapy, if symptoms increase, inflammation may progress to airway obstruction and require hospitalization.

“People who already have the disease must be prepared to get through this time of year. If this does not happen, there may be a worsening and lack of control of the disease and thus make it difficult to recover during and after. crises Patients who live in large urban centers are generally more affected by pollution The southeastern and southern regions of the country are the most affected The south, mainly, due to extremely low temperatures in the periods the coldest of the year,” he said.

Stelmach also recommended that people with asthma avoid smoking, as this habit aggravates the disease. He warns that e-cigarettes and marijuana are harmful to asthmatics, who should even avoid passive smoking (when the individual lives or is close to someone who smokes). It is also necessary to avoid contact with objects and environments containing fungi and mites.

Doctor’s advice is that personal clothing and bedding, including blankets, quilts and pillows, which have been stored for a long period of time, should be disinfected before use. He also pointed out to be careful with pets, keep them out of the room, as pets are allergens for asthmatics.

“After washing and ironing, as long as they are not reused, these clothes must be stored, preferably in plastic bags, to protect them from contact with these allergens. Homes where asthmatics live should have constantly disinfected pillows, mattresses, carpets and curtains and ventilated environments to avoid dust and mold,” the doctor said.

Stelmach also stressed the importance for people with the disease to get the flu shot every year, as the immunizing agent is an important weapon in the control and prevention of severe asthma, as the flu is a seizure trigger.

With the Brazil agency

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