World Asthma Day 2023 is on May 2. This annual event is marked on the first Tuesday of May to boost awareness about asthma and help improve asthma care all over the world. The day was first organized in 1998 by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a collaboration between healthcare professionals and public health officials, and has since been observed every year.
The aim of World Asthma Day is to increase awareness about asthma, its triggers, symptoms and treatment options, as well as to encourage better asthma management and support for those living with the condition. The Day is also an opportunity for healthcare professionals, advocacy groups and policymakers to collaborate and share information and resources.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation of the airways, making breathing difficult. The main symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may occur infrequently or daily, depending on the severity of the disease.
Asthma can be triggered by different factors, including allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites, as well as irritants such as pollution, smoke and cold air. Exercise, stress and respiratory infections can also trigger asthma symptoms.
There are different types of asthma, including allergic asthma, which is triggered by allergens, and non-allergic asthma, which is triggered by other factors. Some people with asthma also have underlying conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or sinusitis, which can make their asthma symptoms worse.
Treatment for asthma typically involves medications such as inhaled corticosteroids, bronchodilators and leukotriene modifiers, as well as avoiding triggers and adopting lifestyle changes to improve lung function. People with asthma should collaborate with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets their specific needs.
What is the Theme of World Asthma Day 2023?
The theme of this year’s World Asthma Day selected by GINA is “Asthma care for All.” GINA’s goal is to improve all aspects of asthma care for patients in every corner of the world.
Low- and middle-income countries have the most asthma-related morbidity and mortality. To lower this burden, GINA urges healthcare leaders to provide access to quality-assured and effective medications. The “Asthma care for All” message encourages the implementation of asthma management programs in countries all over the world.
What to Do on World Asthma Day?
Here are some things you can do to participate in World Asthma Day:
- Learn about asthma: Take some time to learn more about asthma, its causes, symptoms and treatment options. You can visit the official website of GINA or check out resources offered by local asthma organizations in your community.
- Share information on social media: Use social media to share information about asthma, including facts and statistics about asthma. You can also use the hashtag #WorldAsthmaDay to help raise awareness.
- Attend an event: Check with local asthma organizations or healthcare providers to see if there are any events happening in your area to celebrate World Asthma Day. These events may include educational sessions, health fairs or other activities.
- Advocate for asthma: Advocate for people with asthma by contacting local and national policymakers to encourage them to support policies and programs that improve asthma care and management.
- Donate to asthma research: Consider donating to organizations that fund research on asthma, its causes and potential treatments. This can help support the development of new treatments and therapies for people with asthma.
Remember, World Asthma Day is a day to show support for people with asthma, and even small actions can make a big impact.
New and Promising Treatments for Asthma
There have been several new treatments developed for asthma in recent years. For example, AstraZeneca’s Airsupra (albuterol/budesonide) was granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January. Airsupra is used to treat bronchoconstriction and to decrease the risk of asthma attacks in adult patients with asthma. It is the first treatment that uses a short-acting best-agonist and an anti-inflammatory inhaled corticosteroid to be approved in the US.
In December 2021, AstraZeneca and Amgen’s Tezspire (tezepelumab) was approved by the FDA for patients 12 years of age and older with severe asthma that is not controlled by their current asthma medicine. Tezspire is the first treatment for asthma that targets thymic stromal lymphopoietin, a protein involved in airway inflammation.
Regeneron and Sanofi’s Dupixent (dupilumab) received FDA approval in 2018 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe asthma. Dupixent is approved as an add-on maintenance therapy in asthma patients 12 years of age and older with oral corticosteroid-dependent asthma or with an eosinophilic phenotype. It is a monoclonal antibody that works by blocking interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), two proteins that are involved in the inflammation process in asthma.
Verona Pharma’s ensifentrine is a novel, small molecule therapy that is currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of asthma. Ensifentrine works by targeting two enzymes, phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) and phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), and this dual inhibition allows it to have both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory characteristics in one compound.