Campanha defende prevenção e conscientização para combater a asma

Celebrado sempre na primeira terça-feira do mês de maio, desde 1998, o Dia Mundial da Asma tem como tema este ano “Pare a Asma” (Stop for Asthma, em inglês). A letras da palavra stop relembram atitudes importantes diante da doença: Sintomas a avaliar; Testar a resposta obtida com a medicação e com o controle ambiental; Observar e avaliar o paciente de forma contínua; e Proceder o ajuste ao tratamento e às medidas de controle ambiental.

Atualmente há cerca de 235 milhões de pessoas com asma no mundo, de acordo com a Organização Mundial de Saúde (OMS). A doença, também conhecida como “bronquite asmática” ou como “bronquite alérgica”, está presente em todos os países do mundo, independentemente do nível de desenvolvimento. No entanto, mais de 80% das mortes relacionadas a ela acontecem em países em desenvolvimento.

Para a OMS, a asma é uma questão de saúde pública e deve receber especial atenção entre as populações pobres e desfavorecidas. A taxa de mortalidade da asma é relativamente baixa, se comparada a outras doenças crônicas, mas, apenas no ano de 2015, mais de 383 mil pessoas morreram da doença, a maioria com idade avançada.

Doença crônica

A asma, que é mais frequente em crianças, é uma doença crônica que se caracteriza por ataques recorrentes de dificuldade respiratória, caracterizada por respiração rápida e curta, e chiados, que variam em gravidade e frequência de uma pessoa a outra. Os sintomas podem aparecer várias vezes por dia ou por semana e, em algumas pessoas, se agravam durante atividade física ou de noite.

Durante um ataque de asma, o revestimento dos brônquios se inflama, provocamento um estreitamento das vias respiratórias e uma diminuição do fluxo de ar que entra e sai dos pulmões. A doença pode ser controlada com medicação, evitando que se agrave. O tratamento adequado permite que os afetados pela doença tenham uma boa qualidade de vida.

Alergias a poeira, ácaro, mofo e pelos de animais podem desencadear a doença. Outros fatores que podem contribuir são as infecções, como gripes, resfriados, sinusites e viroses. Além disso, mudanças no clima, fumaça, poluição, frio, medicamentos e aspectos emocionais também podem engatilhar uma crise.

Os sintomas mais frequentes são tosse prolongada, geralmente noturna, e chiado no peito, com dificuldade respiratória, assim como a falta de ar. Como consequência, os asmáticos podem ter insônia, cansaço diurno, diminuição das atividades e até abandono da escola e do trabalho.

A data é organizada pela Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), uma entidade que trabalha em cooperação com a Organização Mundial de Saúde (OMS).

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