Family matters: World Asthma Day - 'You can control your asthma'

3 March is World Asthma Day. The day aims to raise awareness about the illness and helps educate you how to cope, care and support asthma sufferers in your family and community.

Asthma is a chronic disease which affects the lungs and causes breathing problems. The theme for this year’s World Asthma Day is ‘You can control your Asthma’.

CapeTalk’s Pippa Hudson spoke to Dr Morne Vorster, senior medical officer at Tygerberg Hospital’s Respiratory Clinic and Shirani Naidoo, a paediatric specialist and exco chair of the National Asthma Education Programme.

Listen to the full conversation below:

According to Naidoo, 1 in 15 school children is diagnosed with Asthma and this number keeps rising.

She says there is research going on in Southern Africa which hopes to find the cause of Asthma in early childhood.

What we do know is that Southern Africa is going to be an answer of many of the allergy questions …

Shirani Naidoo, a paediatric specialist

Part of the reason is because we gaining experience. We are learning how to pick up early symptoms and to diagnose Asthma

Dr Morne Vorster, senior medical officer at Tygerberg Hospital’s Respiratory Clinic

World Asthma day is not only for those who have Asthma, but also for those who are not sure of whether they have it or not (undiagnosed).

Dr Morne Vorster, senior medical officer at Tygerberg Hospital’s Respiratory Clinic

The symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

Dr Vorster says that although Asthma is a chronic disease, it can be treated optimally, and people need to aware of the symptoms.

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