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World Asthma Day
One can live a healthy life with asthma: Doc
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 30
"Bronchial asthma is a chronic (ongoing, long-term) inflammatory disease that affects the breathing passages of the lungs and causes difficulty in breathing. During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten, making the opening in the airways smaller. The lining of the airways swells from inflammation, which causes an increase in mucus that blocks the airways."

In his observations on World Asthma Day, Dr Rajinder Gulati, medical officer and head, department of pediatrics at ESIC Model Hospital, said since it was more difficult to breathe out than to breathe in, more air was retained in the air sacs in the lungs with each breath. Someone having an asthma attack would feel as though he or she was breathing through a narrow straw or, in the case of a severe attack, might even have the feeling of near suffocation.

"Medically, asthma is a name assigned to a group of symptoms that typically include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. Symptoms can occur in various combinations (one, several, or all) and may range from mild to severe.

Symptoms are usually intermittent; perhaps happening only on rare occasions but may occur seasonally or monthly, weekly, or even daily. In the most severe cases, symptoms are present continuously. The most common symptom recognized by both physicians and patients is wheezing."

He stated that asthma usually appeared in childhood or adolescence, but it also might present itself during adult years. While the symptoms might be similar, certain important aspects of asthma were different in children and adults. Children born to families with a history of allergies or asthma were more likely to have asthma. Those children, who lived in urban areas, where there was a higher incidence of air pollution, or those living in such localities that had high levels of dust, smoke or other air pollutants, were also at a higher risk for asthma.

Dr Gulati maintained that asthma was the leading cause of school absences, resulting in a loss of 10 million school days. "Approximately 10 percent of children experience exercise-induced asthma. The condition accounts for more hospitalisations in children than any other chronic illness. An estimated 4 million children under 18 years old, have had an asthma attack in the past 12 months, and many others suffer from hidden or undiagnosed asthma."

Currently, there were no preventive measures or cure for asthma. However, he added, children and adolescents who had asthma, could still lead quality, productive lives if they control their asthma. The disease could be controlled by taking medication and by avoiding contact with environmental "triggers" for asthma. A peak flow meter, a simple device to measure lung volume, could be used at home to help see an attack coming and take appropriate action, sometimes even before any symptoms appear. If the asthma was not being monitored on a regular basis, an attack could come by surprise. Peak flow measurements could help show when medication was needed, or other action required to be taken.

As per the National guidelines of India Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), peak expiratory flow (PEF) values of 60-80 per cent of an individualís personal best, indicated a moderate asthma attack, while values below 60 per cent showed a severe attack.

A variety of medications for treatment of asthma were available.

Dr Gulati advised that people with mild asthma (infrequent attacks) may also use inhalers on "as-needed" basis while those with significant asthma (symptoms occurring at least every week) should be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, preferably inhaled cortico-steroids, and then with broncho-dilators. Acute severe asthma may require hospitalisation, oxygen, and intravenous medications. With proper diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, individuals with asthma could engage in regular physical activity and live normal healthy lives. 

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Ludhiana, Jalandhar lads register wins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 30
Ludhiana and Jalandhar recorded victories over their respective opponents in the boys section and qualified for the semi final league on the second day of the 24th Punjab Youth Basketball Championship being held at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Ludhiana defeated Ferozepore 80-46. Ferozepore lads made a few successful baskets in the initial stages of the encounter but they could not match their rivals who outsmarted them in every sphere of the game.

In another match, Jalandhar overcame stiff resistence put up by Bathinda whom they beat 52-41. Patiala scored a hard-fought win over Hoshiarpur (77-64).

In the girl's section, Ludhiana beat Bathinda 51-23 and Amritsar outclassed Kapurthala 31-10 to secure berths in the semi-finals league.

Lodhiana lads won yesterday

Meanwhile, defending champions Baba Lodhiana Academy of Ludhiana registered a victory over Faridkot in the inaugural match (boys) of the 24th Punjab youth basketball championship for boys and girls which began at Guru Nanak Stadium here yesterday. They won the verdict 70-62 after leading by one point at the end of the second quarter.

Rajan Sharma and Harshabab contributed 30 and 14 points, respectively, for the winners while Manjinder Singh and Jaskaran played well for Faridkot netting 19 and 15 points, respectively.

In another match, Ferozepore outclassed Mansa 46-43 with the main contribution coming through Maninder Singh who scored 20 points. Tejpal Singh's contribution of 24 points went in vain. In the girl's section, Kaputhala beat Sangrur 38-35.

Earlier, Gurpreet Singh Toor, SP (D), Ludhiana, and president, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, inaugurated the championship in which 18 boys teams and 11 teams in the girls section are taking part.

Surinder Dhir, former deputy director, Punjab Sports, Gianinder Singh Sandhu, district sports officer, Ludhiana, Taja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, J.P. Singh, secretary, zila parishad, Ludhiana, Shivtar Singh Bajwa, president, Ludhiana District Football Association, and Vijay Chopra, vice-president, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, were also present at the inaugural function.

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45 cricket probables selected 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 30
As many as 45 players were selected as probables for the regional coaching centre being run here by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) as well as for the forthcoming Punjab state inter-district cricket tournament (u-17) slated to commence in the first week of May at different venues.

According to Naresh Marwaha, joint secretary, LDCA, these boys will attend coaching at the Arya College ground prior to the participation in the tournament.

The names of the probables are: Akhil Aggarwal, Salil Verma, Geetansh Khera, Shivam Passi, Vidhu Kumar, Manpreet Singh, Ketan Dhir, Shivam Sharma, Rabhegh Dhillon, Pawan Kumar, Aleev Saha, Ashish Kumar, Gagandeep Sodhi, Himanshu, Bhajnik Singh, Jayant Batra, Tarsem Singh, Gurinderjit, Aamir Hussain, Rattan Singh, Shehzada, Karan Sangar, Rahul Bhalla, Upinder Singh, Chetan Verma, Baharudin Jama, Pardeep Kumar, Sanchit Gosain, Inderjeet Singh, Ajay Kumar, Manjot Singh, Jashan Sidhu, Naveen, Jatin Joshi, Sukhjinder Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Rahul Singla, Prince, Harshdep, Karanpreet Singh, Pranav Bhasin, Mohit Kumar, Dhruve Beri and Kanwalpreet Singh.

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Dist hockey meet from May 7
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 30
The Ludhiana district hockey championship for boys (u-19) will be held at the Prithipal Singh Astro Turf Stadium on the Punjab Agricultural University campus here from May 7 to 10, according to R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Ludhiana, and president, District Hockey Association.

Players born on or afer April 1, 1989, are eligible to take part in this championship. Interested teams may contact Harinder Singh Bhullar, secretary of the association, by May 1 at the venue between 5 pm and 7 pm or on moblile No. 93175-49824.

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