What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes (airways) that causes swelling and narrowing (constriction) of the airways. The result is difficulty in breathing.
Asthma prone people have sensitive air tubes that react to allergies causeing cough, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Severity of asthma may range from minor wheezing to life-threatening attacks. Long term medication is generally needed to control the disease and prevent the repeated attacks.
Causes of Asthma
Common reason is the combination of genetic tendency and exposure to allergens / irritants. Some common allergens are :
• Pollen and moulds
• House dust mites
• Air pollution
• Pet dander
• Tobacco smoke
• Chemical irritants
Other factors that can trigger an asthmatic attack are:
• Intense emotions like anger & fear.
• Physical exercise
• Certain drugs / medication taken over a period of time.
• Viral infections
• Certain foods
• Changes in weather
• Hormonal changes as in pregnancy, menopause, thyroid disorders, etc.
• Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Symptoms of Asthma
The main symptom of difficult breathing could be accompanied with:
• Breathlessness / dyspnoea
• Cough- mostly dry
• Wheeze-whistling when exhaling
• Chest tightness
• Difficulty in lying down
• Restless sleep, tired feeling on waking
• Tightening of neck muscles
• Difficulty in talking
• Excessive sweating (especially during an acute asthma attack)
Diagnosis of Asthma
Once your doctor has taken your history and examined you he will be fairly sure of the diagnosis. However, he may confirm it with some tests like:
• Spirometry (Lung function tests)
• Peak flow rate
• X-ray chest.
Living with Asthma
Here are some tips for effective management of asthma:
• Drink plenty of water to loosen the secretions
• Avoid exposure to allergens / irritants
• Avoid a sedentary life and start exercising as it helps to improve the lung function.
• Learn stress management techniques
• Green tea which contains antioxidants may give some relief in asthma symptoms
• Many improve after including ginger in their diet
• Stop smoking
The treatment period may vary from case to case as it depends on certain factors such as age, duration of the illness, frequency and severity of complaints, medication taken in the past, etc. Presence of other systemic illnesses in the patient may prolong the duration of treatment.
Reduced frequency and severity of attacks, shorter duration of the attacks, improved immunity / resistance and lesser fatigue after the attack are experienced as the main benefits of Homeopathic treatment.
In Homeopathy the remedies may vary from person to person depending on the cause, duration, family & occupational history, food & seasonal allergies, previous treatment taken, mental & physical condition,etc. As assessed from a detailed history of the case.
Myths and Facts
• Myth – I have asthma only when I have trouble in breathing and the rest of the time I am free from asthma.
• Fact- It is important to understand that asthma has episodes of acute attack during which symptoms of breathlessness, cough and wheezing are seen. In between those attacks, the body still retains its asthmatic tendencies though they are not expressed outwardly. To provide effective long term control of the disease it is important to take medicines in between the attacks.
• Always consult a qualified & experienced Homoeopathic Doctor before taking any homoeopathic remedy.
For more details and appointment at Mt:Roskill or Papatoetoe call Dr.Kuldip / Dr.Pushpinder,
09-6205800 , 09-2785800 , 021 2175800.