Vikas Khanna's Experience With Asthma And Inhalers

One of the most common misconceptions about asthma is that the prevalence of the condition automatically means that the social life and the work-life of the individual is "over". People who are unaware of the condition assume that an asthmatic is unable to perform day to day activities on account of his or her breathing problems. This issue could not be further from the truth.

With the second leg of #BerokZindagi in full swing, we thought it important to not only bust as many myths as possible but also educate common people about asthma and the use of inhalers.

To do this, we paired up with celebrity chef Vikas Khanna who spoke to us about his life with asthma and his experience using inhalers.

Vikas Khanna moved to the United States of America in the year 2000 and was diagnosed with asthma in the year 2001. During his workday, he would find it difficult to breathe and would experience wheezing fits. It had gotten to a point where he could not even do something as simple as walk up the subway steps without losing his breath. It was at this juncture that he realized that it was time for him to visit a doctor.

When he first started to carry his inhaler, a lot of misinformed comments were thrown his way. People would come up to him and tell him that his career would never take off because of his asthma. They said that his condition would hinder his ability to cook and he would never rise through the ranks because of it. He started to fear for his career and his social life due to these.

To combat this, he started reading up on the condition and realized that asthma was a manageable condition and that asthmatics could live a normal life with the treatment.

However, even though he knew the facts of the condition, he was terrified of the social stigma that was attached to it. He refused to tell people about his condition for fear of being singled out. It was during this period when he came across a television commercial. The television commercial was based on a gold medalist in the 2004 Olympics. What struck Vikas was the fact that the medalist was an asthmatic who was very open about his condition and pushed people to live a normal life without fear of the condition and the social stigma attached to it. This advertisement was the turning point in Vikas Khanna's journey.

When asked about the social stigma related to asthma, Vikas said that he believed that people get scared when asthmatics use their inhalers. He spoke about what other people think doesn't affect him anymore and that he uses his inhaler regularly as per his prescription.

He states that if a small asthmatic boy from Amritsar can achieve a Michelin star in the United States of America, then with the right treatment and a little bit of discipline, anything is possible.

You can watch Vikas Khanna's entire journey with asthma here.

To help asthmatics in India, we have created a Breathefree helpline - 9873 33 55 77. You can use this helpline to locate a nearby doctor or book an appointment.

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