Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Asthma, AQI & you

On December 11,2021 Seniors Today hosted another one of its weekly Health Live sessions; this week we had with us Dr Aditya Agrawal to speak on and answer questions about Asthma and Bronchitis Care in the Elderly. 

Dr Aditya Agrawal is a leading Consultant Pulmonologist attached to several large hospitals in Mumbai. He is extensively trained in respiratory diseases both in India and USA. His special interests are in difficult-to-treat cough, asthma, bronchitis and lung fibrosis, and runs a specialised clinic for patients with chronic cough. He is a dedicated researcher and a peer influencer in the management of respiratory disease.



Chronic cough is one that lasts for longer than 6 weeks. 

The most common causes of chronic cough include- 

  • Chronic bronchitis- this further has many types 
  • Upper airway cough syndrome 
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease- this is one of the most common causes for chronic cough. 
  • Cough variant bronchial asthma
  • Bronchiectasis


Few uncommon causes of bronchial asthma include: 

  • Use of angiotensin converting enzyme
  • Lung Cancer 
  • Lung fibrosis 
  • Psychosis 
  • Heart failure- elderly individuals start having collection of water in the lungs, around the face, feet etc. 


Chronic bronchitis is when you have been coughing for many months and have been producing phlegm consecutively for the last three months- 3 years. 

A honking type of cough which usually disappears at night/ during sleep is usually due to psychogenic causes/ habitual cough. 

Night time cough is due to bronchial asthma or sinusitis. Nocturnal cough can also be associated with rhinorrhoea or rhinitis. 

Nocturnal cough is also commonly found in patients with heart failure. 

Exercise related cough is found in patients with asthma or bronchiectasis. 

Stridorous breathing is found in individuals with laryngeal obstruction (obstruction in the throat) or presence of a foreign body. Sometimes this can also be because of pertussis 

Barking or brassy kind of cough is associated with laryngitis or tracheitis 

Common asthma symptoms: 

At no point of time would all the patients suffering from asthma have the same set of symptoms. 

  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Cyanosis 
  • Wheezing 
  • Chest pain- this is because the air that enters the lungs is unable to get out since the airways are narrow. And since the lungs are limited by the ribs, the lungs keep expanding with no air coming out. The excessively filled lungs hitting against the chest wall and thus leading to pain in the chest. 


Triggers that can aggravate asthma symptoms: 

  • Pollen 
  • Smoking- active and passive 
  • Exercise 
  • Mould- in the home or outside
  • Certain foods such as eggs, nuts, etc 
  • Certain medicines, such as beta blockers ( anti hypertensives). It is this imperative that you let your physician know beforehand vvvvvvvvvvvl,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, about your asthma 
  • Dust mite. 
  • Stress 
  • Pollution 
  • Pet hair and pet excreta 
  • Cold air 


You can say you have good control of your asthma when 

  • there is significant relief in your symptoms. 
  • activity limitation is reduced or is negligible. 
  • lung function tests are getting better. 
Dr Noor Gill
Dr Noor Gill, MBBS, deciphers the space between heartbeats, figuratively and literally. Powered by frequent long naps and caffeine, she believes that “knowledge without giving back to society is meaningless” and works to make caring cool again.

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