In observance of World Allergy Week, Alkem Laboratories Ltd launched the “Stop Sneeze to Wheeze” initiative to shed light on the interconnectedness of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma, collectively known as “One Airway, One Disease.” Early diagnosis stands at the forefront of this initiative, with a focus on how it can make a difference in breaking the cycle of these coexisting conditions.
Allergic Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages, predominantly triggered by allergens like pollen, dust, and pet dander. The inflammation leads to symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and nasal congestion. On the other hand, Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the airways, leading to breathing difficulties.
When Allergic Rhinitis is left untreated, it can exacerbate and evolve into Asthma. In turn, uncontrolled Asthma can intensify the symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis. This cycle can take a toll on a patient’s quality of life.
The importance of early diagnosis in this context cannot be overstated. Early detection of Allergic Rhinitis and understanding its potential progression to Asthma allows for timely interventions that can prevent or mitigate the severity of Asthma.
Mr. Sudipta Roy, President, Head – Acute business at Alkem Laboratories Ltd, emphasized this point by mentioning, “The incidence of asthma and Allergic Rhinitis is on the rise within the general population, with a significant number of newly diagnosed patients experiencing both upper and lower airway symptoms. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 60 to 78% of individuals diagnosed with asthma also have concurrent Allergic Rhinitis.”
Part of the “Stop Sneeze to Wheeze” initiative includes awareness campaigns, camps, and clinics. These programs are designed to educate patients on identifying the early warning signs of Allergic Rhinitis and understanding the critical role that early diagnosis plays in preventing the progression to Asthma.
In addition to awareness and education, patients are encouraged to consider allergy testing to identify specific allergens, adhere to prescribed treatment plans, and adopt a healthy lifestyle. These practices strengthen the immune system and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Collaborative efforts among healthcare professionals, patients, and the broader community are vital in promoting early diagnosis. As World Allergy Week serves as a reminder of the global burden of allergies and Asthma, initiatives like “Stop Sneeze to Wheeze” are imperative in empowering individuals and transforming lives through awareness, education, and action.