Asthma is a disease affecting the lungs in which the air passage becomes narrower due to inflammation. Hence it causes difficulty in breathing with a wheezing sound during breathing, chest tightness and coughing.
Asthma is one of the commonest chronic diseases globally. It can affect people of every age group but it commonly starts during childhood.
There is no specific cause for asthma. But according to some research, there are some genetic and environmental factors which play an important role in the causation of this disease:
- History of asthma in parents.
- Having a tendency of developing an allergic reaction which is termed atopy.
- Childhood history of some respiratory infections.
- The increase in air pollution has shown an increase in no. of cases of asthma showing a relation between the two and particularly with indoor air pollution.
- Exposure to household dust mites in early childhood is a risk factor for allergic sensitization and asthma. But rigorous allergen avoidance also has not shown any evidence for a reduced risk for developing asthma.
Asthmatic attacks can be triggered by several factors:
- Allergens like pollens from plants, dust, grasses, moulds, cockroaches etc.
- Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, dust and other irritants at the workplace, sprays etc.
- Some medicines like aspirin or NSAIDs
- Cold air and hyperventilation in it, exercise and vigorous physical activities.
Signs and Symptoms
- Difficulty in breathing
- A wheezing sound during breathing is characterized by a whistling or squeaky sound.
- Chest tightness with shortness of breath, in which the patient feels as if something is lying over the chest.
These symptoms are usually worse at the night. The patient wakes up during the early hours of the morning with coughing and the above symptoms. In some patients there can be increased mucus production which is typically difficult to expectorate.
It can be diagnosed clinically on the basis of symptoms, physical examination, test results and the medical and family history of the patient. Chest X-rays in cases of asthma are usually normal without any other pathology. While the blood tests for the allergic response from the body will show increased levels of antibodies.
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Treatment of asthma depends upon the severity of the disease. In mild to moderate cases medicines are sufficient to control it. But in severe attacks, immediate medical consultation with vigorous intervention is required. In the allopathic system of medicine, there is no cure for Asthma. But Homoeopathy claims to cure it permanently. The medicines are selected according to the individualization of every patient and symptoms similar to the medicine. Following are the common homoeopathic medicines used in cases of asthma:
When there is excessive mucus formation which is unable to expectorate by the patient this medicine should be thought of. Rapid, short and difficult breathing with not able to lie down on the bed, must sit up to breathe. Drowsiness, weakness and sweating accompany these complaints.
Cough which gets worse at midnight. The patient is not able to lie down for fear of suffocation. There is scanty expectoration. These complaints are accompanied by weakness, exhaustion and restlessness with a prominent fear of death.
Spasms and constricted sensation in the chest alternate with vomiting. The cough has a gurgling sound which gets better from drinking cold water.
Difficulty in breathing with constricted sensation in the chest. For annual attacks of asthma. The chest seems full of phlegm but doesn’t come up while coughing.
A dry, hard cough around 3 a.m. wakes up with dryness and stitching pains in the pharynx. Tendency to take cold and gets better in a warm climate. These complaints are accompanied by weakness, soft pulse and coldness of the body.
Difficulty in breathing during damp weather. Has to hold the chest every time the patient coughs. Humid asthma, rattling in the chest between 4 and 5 a.m. Cough with thick ropy, greenish expectoration. Feels better in warm, dry air.
Dry cough especially in the evening and at night. Has to sit up in bed from lying to get relief. Smothering sensation on lying down on the bed. Short breath, anxiety and palpitations when lying on the left side.
Violent cough lying down, with thick, yellow lumpy expectoration.
Dryness of all the air passages. Breaths are short, panting and difficult. Asthmatic cough which gets worse from cold air with profuse expectoration. Cough ameliorates after eating or drinking especially warm drinks.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease which is characterized by coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. It usually develops in childhood and can have several triggering factors like dust, pollens, chemicals etc. It can be mild, moderate or severe in intensity. Homoeopathy claims to cure it permanently with the help of individualized medicines which are selected on the basis of the individualization of the patient and his symptoms. Treatment can be taken from a qualified and registered Homoeopathic physician for the same.