Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects more than 25 million people in the United States alone. It causes swelling and narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult. Asthma is highly prevalent, especially among children. According to the CDC, asthma affects over 6 million children in the US. Globally, it is estimated that over 300 million people suffer from asthma.
The disease has a major impact on the quality of life and day-to-day activities of those affected. Asthma attacks can range from mild to severe, and may sometimes require emergency hospitalization. Worryingly, it is also one of the leading causes of missed school and work days. The economic costs associated with asthma are estimated to be over $80 billion per year in the US when accounting for medical expenses, missed work and school, and even premature death in severe cases.
Understanding asthma, its causes, symptoms and treatments is therefore critical. This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look into all key aspects of this chronic respiratory disease.
Best Asthma Specialist Near You – Welling Homeopathy
Welling Homeopathy, a globally recognized leader in the field of homeopathic medicine, stands out as the best choice for asthma patients for several reasons. Here are a few:
Expert and Comprehensive Care
- Experienced Doctors: Welling Homeopathy is home to award-winning doctors renowned for their expertise and rich experience. Our team of highly qualified homeopathic doctors are equipped with the techniques, knowledge, and intuition required to accurately diagnose and treat asthma.
- Global Reputation: Homeopathy is trustingly embraced in 108 countries worldwide, with patients giving Welling Homeopathy a 5-star rating for its outstanding treatment services. This establishes our credibility on a global level, ensuring that the asthma treatment you receive is of the highest standard.
Innovative and Personalized Treatment
- CUREplus™ Treatment: Welling Homeopathy brings you the unique CUREplus™ treatment protocol, a seamless blend of traditional homeopathic methods with novel scientific research. This innovative approach ensures complete, pain-free recovery and can dramatically enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from asthma.
- Individual Focused Care: We understand that each patient is unique, hence we offer personalized treatment plans to cater to individual health conditions. This personalized plan changes as the severity of the disease decreases ensuring a faster recovery.
Proven Success and Heritage
- Trust in Tradition: With an impressive 81-year-old legacy in Homeopathy, Welling Homeopathy is a name you can trust. We are backed by years of knowledge, success stories, and a robust commitment to helping patients lead healthier and happier lives.
- Holistic Approach: At Welling, we focus on the patient as a whole and not just on controlling the symptoms of asthma. This holistic method treats the root cause, prevents recurring attacks, and aids in long-lasting relief.
Call +91 8080 850 950 to experience, Welling Homeopathy’s expertise, innovative treatment methods, personalized patient care, established trust, and robust success underpin its standing as one of the best homeopathy clinics for asthma treatment. Choose Welling Homeopathy and breathe easy. For a happier, healthier life, the choice is clear.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs. This makes breathing difficult and can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
The inflammation caused by asthma is the result of the immune system overreacting to triggers that are harmless to most people. These triggers cause the airways to become swollen, produce excess mucus and make the muscles around the airways tighten. This narrows the airways and reduces airflow in and out of the lungs.
There are a few different types of asthma:
Adult-Onset Asthma – This type of asthma develops after age 30 and is not caused by allergies. The triggers are often unknown.
Allergic Asthma – This is the most common type of asthma, caused by an allergic reaction to substances like pollen, pet dander or dust mites. Allergic asthma often develops in childhood.
Asthma-COPD Overlap – Some people have both asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The airway obstruction and symptoms of both diseases overlap.
Occupational Asthma – This type of asthma is caused by inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other substances in the workplace. Once away from the triggers, symptoms improve.
Difficult-to-Control and Severe Asthma – Symptoms either don’t fully respond to treatment or worsen over time. This occurs in about 5-10% of people with asthma.
Causes of Asthma
Asthma can be caused by a variety of factors. The main causes include:
Environmental Triggers – Allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold, pets, and irritants like chemicals, smoke, pollution can trigger asthma symptoms.
Respiratory Infections – Colds, flu, sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia can inflame airways and trigger asthma flare-ups.
Exercise – Physical activity can cause narrowing of airways and asthma symptoms in some people due to hyperventilation.
Weather Conditions – Cold, dry air is more likely to irritate airways and trigger asthma than warm, moist air. Changes in weather may exacerbate symptoms.
Medications – Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, beta-blockers, some hypertension meds can worsen asthma.
Food Allergies – Allergic reactions to certain foods like peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, eggs, etc. can trigger asthma attacks.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – Acid reflux can cause aspiration of gastric contents into lungs, resulting in asthma symptoms.
Obesity – Excess weight puts pressure on lungs and can contribute to inflammation that worsens asthma. Losing weight may help improve symptoms.
Hormonal Changes – Asthma severity may vary at different stages of menstrual cycle due to hormone fluctuations. May be worse pre-menstruation.
Stress and Strong Emotions – Stress, anxiety, laughter, yelling, etc. can cause hyperventilation and narrowed airways leading to asthma flare-ups.
Genetics – Family history of allergies or asthma increases risk. Genetic predisposition can make airways more sensitive.
Symptoms of Asthma
The main symptoms of asthma include:
Coughing – You may have a chronic, dry cough that tends to get worse at night or early in the morning. Coughing may occur during or after physical activity.
Wheezing – You may hear a high-pitched whistling sound when you breathe, especially when exhaling. This common asthma symptom is caused by narrowed airways.
Shortness of breath – Also called dyspnea, this means you feel out of breath or winded during normal activity or exercise.
Chest tightness or pain – You may feel like your chest is constricted and you can’t expand your chest normally when inhaling.
Trouble sleeping – Worsened asthma symptoms at night can make it difficult to sleep and lead to fatigue.
Recognizing asthma symptoms early is crucial so that you can start treatment right away. Without proper management, asthma symptoms often worsen over time. Starting controller medications like inhaled corticosteroids early can reduce asthma attacks, improve lung function, and enhance quality of life.
If you experience chronic asthma-like symptoms more than twice a week and recurring episodes of breathlessness, it’s important to see your doctor and get evaluated for asthma. Parents should also watch for asthma-like symptoms in their kids and consult a pediatrician if concerned. The earlier asthma can be diagnosed and treated, the better the long-term outlook.
Diagnosis of Asthma
An asthma diagnosis begins with a medical history, family history, and physical exam. The doctor will ask about any breathing problems, allergies, triggers, family history of asthma or allergies, and smoking history. They will listen to the chest with a stethoscope for wheezing or other abnormal sounds.
The main diagnostic tests used to confirm asthma are:
Spirometry – This breathing test measures how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath. It also measures how fast you can blow air out. Spirometry can detect asthma by identifying airflow obstruction consistent with asthma.
Peak flow meter – This handheld device measures peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), which is how fast you can exhale. Lower PEFR indicates narrowed airways. Peak flow monitoring at home can identify triggers and patterns.
Methacholine challenge – This test confirms asthma by identifying airway hyperresponsiveness. The patient inhales increasing concentrations of methacholine, a drug that narrows healthy airways. Reduced lung function after methacholine exposure confirms asthma.
Allergy testing – Allergy skin or blood tests identify allergen-specific IgE antibodies. Positive results for common asthma triggers like dust, pets, pollen can help diagnose allergic asthma.
Imaging – Chest X-rays are sometimes done to rule out other lung conditions. CT scans are not routinely used but may identify lung inflammation in difficult cases.
Inflammatory biomarkers – Elevated nitric oxide in exhaled air or eosinophils in sputum can indicate asthma-related inflammation.
Exercise challenge – Exercise-induced asthma symptoms during an exercise test under medical supervision can aid diagnosis.
Bronchial challenge – Inhaling substances like cold air, dry air, or aspirin that trigger asthma can confirm asthma during a bronchial challenge under medical supervision.
Accurate testing and diagnosis is important to determine the right treatment plan for each individual with asthma symptoms.
Conventional Treatments for Asthma
The most common medications prescribed for asthma are bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs. Bronchodilators work by relaxing the muscles around the airways to open them up and make breathing easier. Common types include short-acting beta agonists like albuterol and long-acting beta agonists like salmeterol. These medications provide quick relief and are used when needed. Anti-inflammatory drugs like inhaled corticosteroids help reduce airway inflammation over time. They need to be taken daily on a regular basis to keep asthma under control. Oral corticosteroids may also be used for severe asthma attacks.
While these medications are effective, they can cause side effects like increased heart rate, muscle cramps, and hoarseness. Proper use and dosage monitoring by a doctor is important.
Inhalers are devices that deliver asthma medication directly into the lungs for quick relief. The main types are metered dose inhalers (MDIs) and dry powder inhalers (DPIs). MDIs dispense a pressurized mist when actuated, while DPIs rely on the patient’s breath to deliver the powdered drug.
Proper inhaler technique is crucial to ensure the medication reaches the target areas. Using a spacer or valved holding chamber can also improve delivery of the drug. Patients should be educated on correct inhaler use by their healthcare providers.
Making certain lifestyle adjustments can help keep asthma under better control. This includes avoiding or reducing exposure to known triggers like smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, and air pollution.
Quitting smoking and secondhand smoke is highly recommended. Doing regular exercise and physical activity improves lung function but asthma patients should use their inhaler before exercising. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight is also beneficial. Stress management via relaxation techniques can also help some patients.
With proper medications, inhaler usage, trigger avoidance, and healthy lifestyle choices, asthma can be effectively managed in most patients.
Alternative Treatments for Asthma
In addition to conventional medications and therapies prescribed by doctors, there are several alternative treatment options that some people find helpful for managing asthma symptoms. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness and safety of alternative asthma treatments may not be supported by scientific evidence. Consult your doctor before trying any alternative remedies.
Yoga and Breathing Exercises
Certain yoga poses and breathing techniques may help improve respiratory function and lung capacity. For example, poses that expand the chest and lungs, such as Cow Pose, Extended Puppy Pose, and Camel Pose, can allow more air to fill the lungs. Breathing exercises like pursed-lip breathing and belly breathing can strengthen the diaphragm and improve the efficiency of breathing. Studies show yoga can reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, improve quality of life, and decrease medication use for asthma patients. Always start slowly and modify poses as needed.
Homeopathic Remedies For Asthma
Some people use homeopathic treatments made from natural substances to relieve asthma symptoms. A few commonly used remedies include arsenicum album, ipecacuanha, nux vomica, and sulfur. However, there is limited evidence that homeopathy provides any measurable benefit for asthma. While considered safe when used appropriately, homeopathic remedies may interact with conventional medications or cause side effects. Consult with a certified homeopath as well as your doctor prior to using homeopathy for asthma.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure apply pressure to specific points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in qi (energy flow). A few small studies indicate acupuncture may modestly improve lung function and quality of life for asthma patients. However, more rigorous research is needed. When performed by a licensed practitioner, acupuncture is generally considered safe. Use caution with needle phobia or bleeding disorders.
Certain herbs are purported to relieve asthma symptoms as a complementary therapy. For example, extracts of turmeric, boswellia, and pycnogenol may have anti-inflammatory properties. Other herbs like ginger, garlic, and licorice act as natural bronchodilators to open the airways. However, the safety and effectiveness of herbs for asthma is not well studied. Herbal products may interact with prescription drugs or exacerbate health conditions. Always consult your doctor first.
It’s important to have realistic expectations about alternative asthma treatments. While some complementary therapies show promise in improving quality of life and reducing reliance on medication, they should not replace conventional treatment altogether. Work closely with your doctor to determine if alternative options are appropriate as part of your individualized asthma management plan.
New Asthma Treatments in Research
There are several promising new asthma treatments currently being researched and developed. While not yet approved or available for widespread use, these emerging therapies show potential for improved asthma control in the future.
Biologics are a new class of drugs that target specific proteins or cells involved in inflammation. They can provide targeted treatment for the airway inflammation that occurs in asthma. Several biologics are being studied for use in difficult-to-control asthma, including omalizumab, mepolizumab, reslizumab, benralizumab, and dupilumab. These drugs have shown effectiveness in reducing asthma attacks and improving lung function and asthma control in clinical trials. However, they come with risks of side effects and high costs. More research is still needed to determine their long-term efficacy and safety.
Bronchial thermoplasty is a newly developed procedure that uses heat to reduce smooth muscle in the airways. The reduction in smooth muscle aims to decrease bronchoconstriction and airway narrowing. Early research indicates bronchial thermoplasty can reduce asthma attacks in people with severe asthma. More studies are underway to fully determine its risks and benefits for long-term use.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy holds promise as a regenerative treatment option by repairing lung tissue damaged by inflammation. Pre-clinical studies show mesenchymal stem cells can repair lung injury and reduce inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in animal models of asthma. However, stem cell therapy for asthma is still in the very early stages of research. Much more research is needed before stem cell treatments could become a clinical reality for managing asthma.
While these emerging asthma therapies show promise, they are not yet ready for widespread real-world use. Much more rigorous testing and research is still needed to fully understand their safety, effectiveness, costs, and benefits compared to existing treatments. It may be many more years before these new therapies potentially get approved and become integrated into standard asthma care. But they represent exciting areas of research for the future of asthma treatment.
Living with Asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management. With proper care, most people with asthma are able to live active, healthy lives. Here are some tips for managing asthma day-to-day and maintaining an active lifestyle:
Tips for Managing Asthma
Take medications as prescribed. Work with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan detailing which medications to take and when. This can help control symptoms and prevent attacks.
Avoid asthma triggers. Each person’s triggers are different but common ones include allergens like pollen or pet dander, irritants like smoke or pollution, weather changes, and respiratory infections. Work to limit exposure to your personal triggers.
Monitor your symptoms. Track your peak flow readings, symptom levels, and medication use so you can recognize warning signs of an attack. This allows you to adjust medications early.
Address anxiety or stress. These can worsen asthma symptoms. Practice relaxation techniques, get emotional support, and make lifestyle changes to reduce stress.
See your doctor regularly. Have follow-up appointments at least yearly to review medications, symptoms, triggers, and your action plan. Adjust treatments as needed.
Maintaining an Active Lifestyle
Warm up first. Take 5-10 minutes to warm up before vigorous activity to prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks.
Use fast-acting inhalers. Carry a fast-acting bronchodilator inhaler and use it 15 minutes before activity. This can help open up airways.
Pick the right activities. Opt for lower-impact activities like walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, or strength training. Avoid sports with extensive running.
Exercise indoors. Exercising in cold, dry air can trigger asthma attacks. If needed, work out indoors or use a scarf over your nose and mouth.
Listen to your body. Stop immediately if you have asthma symptoms during activity. Take a break or use your inhaler. Slow down if needed.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercising to keep airways lubricated.
With proper asthma management, you can remain physically active. Monitor symptoms, avoid triggers, use medications, and modify activities as needed. Consult a doctor to develop the best fitness plan for you.
Consult a Welling Homeopathy Asthma Specialist Near You
Asthma can be a challenging condition to live with. However, with proper education, diagnosis, and access to quality treatment options, most people can manage their asthma and live active, fulfilling lives. The key is to have an understanding of the disease, learn your individual triggers, and follow your doctor’s treatment plan – including taking medications as prescribed and making appropriate lifestyle changes. All the available conventional and alternative therapies discussed here can provide relief, if used under medical guidance. Research continues to provide us with a growing range of advanced treatment options.
At the end of the day, living with asthma is about working closely with your healthcare providers to find the right combination of therapies for you. Partner with them to continually evaluate your condition and make adjustments as needed. There is no one size fits all solution. While asthma cannot be cured, it can be effectively controlled. Arm yourself with the knowledge in this guide, and work with your doctor to find your ideal treatment plan. With the right strategy, you can expect fewer asthma episodes and reduced reliance on quick relief medicines. Here’s to breathing better and regaining your active lifestyle!
Consult a Welling Homeopathy Asthma Specialist Near You