Dr.Prabhakar Shetty on asthma and more

With a masters in respiratory medicine and specialised training in Inteventional Bronchoscopy, Dr.Prabhakar Shetty deals with complicated bronchoscopy procedures.

His special field of interests includes asthama, sleep medicine, non-Invasive ventilation and airway diseases.

Dr.Shetty answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

sir i have pain in middle chest since last 6 month it arise more whenever i turn ,bent,etc.my age is 27 year,what should do me pls. suggest me thanks.
The pain u r describing seems more muscular so maybe simple analgesics like Paracetamol and avoiding lifting heavy weights will help..get your Vit d3 levels checked and consult a doctor if ur pain still persisits

my child is having asthama kindly advise me some medication thank you.
U need to evaluate your child with a Lung specialist ..the mainstay of treatment depending on the severity is inhaled therapy which ur doctor will decide

Can the cough developed through smoking be life threatening? Regards Sammy.
Yes it is a progressive condition and damages the lungs irreversibly a lot of times and can also lead to Lung cancer

Can there be more than one reason for cough? Is it rare or common?
Its is not rare to have more than one reason for cough

Do all coughs that last long are at a risk of developing COPD? Any treatment?
No they are not at risk of deloping COPD..COPD is a group of condition by itself usually seen in smokers…Treatment is Inhaled bronchodilators,Respiratory Physiotherapy and paramount is to stop smoking

I am 37yrs male. I quit smoking 9 months back but I still witness cough. What to do?
Get a Lung Function test and an Xray..if both of this are normal then u shouldnt worry as the cough will pass away..the lungs take time to recover completely after u quit smoking

What type of cough does smoking cause?
It usually causes an early morning cough in the initial stages and then progressives to cough through out the day with minimal expectoration

It is said that there is acute and chronic types of cough, what is the difference?
Chronic cough is cough which is there for more than 6-8 weeks

Sir how does know whether his or her cough is normal or not?
No cough is normal

Should asthma drugs be taken during pregnancy?
Yes they can be safely taken and should be taken during pregnancy

I have heard that taking pain medications can worsen one’s Asthma. True?
Yes Non steroidal Anti inflammatory medications can worsen some people Asthma

Does tuberculosis cause infertility or hinder pregnancy?
When Tuberculosis affects the Fallopian tubes or the uterus it can hinder pregnancy

Is wheezing considered abnormal or normal?
Ans: it is abnormal

lokesh: Hello Doctor. What is wheezing ?
Wheezing is a whistling sound which is heard by the patient when he has a bronchospasm

My uncle is suffering from COPD for the last 8 years. He is being treated at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. These days his health remains abysmal due to the same problem. Is there any permanent cure to the problem ?
There is no permanent cure though Lung reduction Surgery can be done in appropriate patients at a very Specialised lung Unit…otherwise the main stay of treatment is optimistation of Bronchdilators,Vaccination and Oxygen if required

What are the various symptoms of Reactive Airways Diseases?
episodic breathlessnes..wheezing..or dry cough which lasts for aprolong duration

What can I do to prevent my 2yr old son from reactive airway diseases? Any vaccination?
There are no vaccines available..prompt treatment of an respiratory infection or avoidance of allergens if u notice any would help..most children outgrow it by there teens when there Immune system is completely developed

Do all children run the risk of reactive airway diseases?
No not really..

My son is 2yrs. I want to know what are reactive airway diseases?
Reactive airway disease means hypersensitive Airways..these airways react excessively to triggers which could be respiratory Infections or Allergens..

How does non invasive ventilation help the patient?
It augments the patients respiratory effort so that the patient work of breathing is reduced and he does not tire out

When does a physician usually recommend non-invasive ventilation?
Non Invasive Ventilation is used in an acute setting to help in the patients respiratory effort which might have gone down bcos of an acute illness..It can also be advised long term for Chronic Lung Conditions,progressive Muscle weakness or Sleep Apnoea

What precautions can be taken to avoid chest pain Dr.? Thanks
It depends on the cause of the chest pain

What are the most general causes that might lead to chest pain?
Heart Ailments Fluid outside the lung or Chest infection Acid reflux Inflammation of the muscles or the ribs in the chest wall

How is chest pain different from Angina?
Angina is chest pain bcos of a cardiac cause..while Chest pain can have a lot of reasons like Cardiac,Pulmonary or Gastrointestinal

Good afternoon Dr. How do we know that our chest pain is serious? Any specific symptoms?
Any chest pain associated with sweating,breathlesness or radiating to the arm or jaw would be serious and needs urgent evaluation

Any vaccination available to prevent interstitial diseases in adults?
No not as of now

Can dry cough be also considered as interstitial disease?
Not all dry coughs are caused by ILD though dry cough is one of the symptom og Interstitial Lung Disease(ILD)

What are the reasons that lead to interstitial lung diseases?
Interstitial lung disease is a broad spectrum of diseases..causes are varied from Autoimmune conditions to allergen exposures to drugs etc..and a lot of times there might not be a cause which is known as Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Doctor please give some suggestions how to prevent our lungs from city pollution? I am doing a marketing job which exposes me to outdoor pollution.
It is difficult bcos of our lifestyle and the particulate matter that is all around..one of the things to do is maybe use a mask at places with dense fog or pollution

How can whooping cough be prevented amongst children as well as adults?
prevention is by vaccination

Why is whooping cough considered as a contagious disease?
People with whooping cough usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the bacteria that cause the disease

Good afternoon Dr.Shetty. I wanted to know about the symptoms of whooping cough.
It is paraoysma cough, a whoop and vomiting after bouts of cough

Can exercise induced Asthma be prevented? Thank you.
Not really…unless it is very mild and then maybe warm up exercises will help

How does one control exercise induced asthma?
Depending on the severity which is determined by a PFT,either inhaled medications prior to exercise or gradual warm up exercises and breathing exercises should help

What is exercise induced Asthma Dr.?
Its a variant of asthma brought about when one exercises otherwise these patients are symptom free..The way to diagnose it is to do a Exercise PFT

Are yogic breathing exercises necessary for our chest and lungs health?
They enhance our breathing capacity and definitely improve lung health

I am 24yrs female. I witness slight chest pain whenever I carry weights or climb heights (stairs, hills,etc.). It recedes in sometime. Normal?
If the pain is on the left side of the chest then it needs to be evaluated with a ECG,otherwise if there is no family history of cardiac ailments it might be normal..but the best thing to do is to get it evaluated by your Doctor

This is for my Uncle who is suffering from Asthma Doctor. Can Asthma be permanently cured or is it only controlled?
Asthma is difficult to cure and more so if they persist beyond the teen years..But it can be very well controlled with the present therapy that is available

Can stress worsen one’s asthma?
Yes it can..this is due to the fluctuations in the levels of steroids in our body brought abt by stress

How can one minimize asthma triggers?
the best way to do is to avoid the triggers if you have an idea about the triggers..otherwise general measures like dust free environment,avoidance of pets,keeep the room mould free and using warm water for bed linen washes should help

Any tips to enhance lung health Doctor?
Regular Cardio exercises like Running,swimming,cycling would increase the vital capacity…Certain Yoga techniques have the same effect

How do physicians generally distinguish asthma from other lung disorders?
Clinical History,X Ray and a Pulmonary Function Test usually helps to differentiate

Why is smoking considered so harmful for our lungs?
Cigarette smoke contains 50 cancer causing chemicals along with the damage that the tar does to the lining of the lungs…

I am 29yrs male. I smoke around 2-3 cigarettes in a week. Is it fine? Will it harm my lungs?
It is not fine..It will harm the lungs for sure..Any exposure to ciggarette smoke either active or passive is harmful

Is Asthma hereditary?
Asthma seems to have a family predisposition but it is not necessary that all Asthmatic parents have asthmatic children

How is Asthma diagnosed?
its a combination of clinical history and a test which is known as a Pulmonary Function Test(PFT) which clinches the diagnosis

What does an asthma attack feel like?
it is difficulty in breathing..a sensation of choking sensation along with a whistling sound which is known as a wheeze and this progresses to tiredness in breathing

Doctor I want to know what are the most common symptoms of asthma?
Cough,Breathlessness which is episodic..these symptoms get worsened with seasonal changes and with exposure to triggers

I am not having sleep even after taking Ativan 2mg in the nightPlease advise.
The best thing to do is to do a sleep study to find out if there is any evidence of Obstructive sleep Apnoea which is treatable and the Sleep study would also tell us which phase of ur sleep is lacking and then the doctor can advise you the requisite treatment

I am a diabetic for the past 15 yrs, on and off i feel uneasyness on my left side chest. otherwise i do not have any problem, i too do health check-up every year with thread mill, report is normal, pl tell why i feel unesay. Thanks – jayashree
uneasiness on the left side has more to with a cardiac cause more than the lungs..though to be sure u could do a lung function test and if that is normal then my advise would be to meet a cardioogist

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