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Severe asthma robbed him of his sense of smell for a decade.  A patient talks about the importance of controlling the disease – News

Severe asthma robbed him of his sense of smell for a decade. A patient talks about the importance of controlling the disease – News

Asthma is an underdiagnosed and undertreated chronic respiratory disease that affects children, young people and adults. Currently, 700,000 Portuguese are living with the disease and half of them do not have the disease under control, affecting their daily activities and leading to a worse quality of life. Asthma is more than just a simple difficulty breathing, it is a common and potentially serious disease that has a profound impact on people's lives.

It is estimated that between 5 and 10% of these patients suffer from a more serious and debilitating form of the disease, called severe asthma, equivalent to between 20 and 30 thousand Portuguese. This is the case of Katarina, who has been living with the disease for about 16 years.

The new episode of the Vidas podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by the disease, on the occasion of World Asthma Day, launches today on the channels Youtube It's from Spotify, focuses on a conversation about the importance of increasing awareness of the disease to better manage symptoms throughout life. It is a theme that fits the theme chosen by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to celebrate this date.

“I was always a very healthy person until I was 20 years old and I started noticing attacks of shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. (…) I am lucky that my parents are doctors. I was aware and aware of what asthma is. Moreover, my father has With asthma, therefore, I already had some information about the disease, but of course it is a completely different thing to start living with it,” highlights Catarina Cañas Mendes, a patient suffering from severe asthma.

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Katarina admits that she did not make the necessary adaptations at first because she did not take the disease seriously enough, and ended up settling the symptoms that affected her daily life. “We got used to living with the symptoms and did not realize that there were alternatives and ways to control the disease,” explains Katarina, emphasizing that this perception changed over time and as the symptoms worsened. Recently, he has begun to realize the complexity of the disease, and therefore warns that “it is very important, once symptoms appear, to be able to act.”

“We're used to living this way, we're used to living with the symptoms. We don't even know how to live any other way. For example, it was only six months ago that I was able to regain my sense of smell, which I hadn't had for ten years. This changed my life.” Again, being able to smell again was actually a very positive thing, but I was so used to living without that ability that I think we got used to living with the symptoms and failed to realize that there was another alternative and we had to fight for it.

Through her story of resilience, Katarina reveals what the process of controlling the disease was like and how she spent ten years without being able to smell due to anosmia due to asthma. When she becomes a mother, life takes on a different color for Katarina, but so does the burden of responsibility for taking care of the child. The symptoms worsened during the second pregnancy, causing you to miss some unique moments, like smelling your baby.

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Then the way of looking at the disease changed, and the search for the best way to combat and manage it intensified. Through medical monitoring and appropriate treatment, Katarina was able to regain her quality of life, and today she warns of the importance of increasing health education and disciplining patients regarding therapeutic adherence.

The Vidas podcast, which now consists of eight episodes, is the first Portuguese podcast to focus exclusively on interviews with patients and their families so they can share their stories. In this latest episode, he highlights the importance of healthy culture, in order to enable patients to better control their asthma.