Understanding the Different Types of Asthma – Asthma

Traditionally, asthma is often classified into two types – intrinsic asthma and extrinsic asthma. However, as per the modern medical world, there can be so many different types of asthma, such as steroid-resistant asthma, occupational asthma, nocturnal asthma, exercise-induced asthma, intrinsic asthma, and allergic asthma. Besides that, doctors now use four basic classifications to determine the severity of asthma, including severe persistent, moderate persistent, mild persistent, and mild intermittent.Allergic Asthma
More than 90% of the patients suffer from allergic asthma. This is the most common type, which can be diagnosed when asthma attacks are triggered by specific allergies. The good thing here is that such allergies are easily avoidable and identifiable if you get the treatment at the right time. So, make sure you contact your doctor immediately once you experience any such thing.Intrinsic Asthma
This is one of the most common types of asthma that usually affect people aged 40 years and up. It does not normally occur in children. The cases where children have been affected by intrinsic asthma are rare. It is mainly caused by regular inhalation of irritating chemicals, such as cleaning products, smoke, and perfumes. It is not an easy condition to treat. Therefore, it is very important for you to be very alert and talk to your doctor about every symptom that you are experiencing and that might indicate to such problems. The basic idea is to prevent the condition from worsening.Exercise-Induced Asthma
This is also one of the common types of asthma and it occurs usually in people who practice heavy exercises regularly. One of the important signs of this condition includes coughing fits caused by exercising heavily. So, you must monitor your coughs while you exercise. When you work out heavily, your lungs lose the necessary moisture and heat, which eventually results in asthmatic attacks and breathing difficulties.Nocturnal Or Sleep-Related Asthma
In these types of asthma, the asthma symptoms occur in the patient during the night hours. This can be a very situation especially of children are experiencing this. You must consult your doctor immediately if you notice any such thing. Some common possible causes for nocturnal or sleep-related asthma include gastroesophageal reflux disorder, Allergens in the lowered room temperature, and Allergens in the bedroom.Occupational Asthma
Occupational asthma has also become increasingly very common these days – probably because of the increased level of pollution in the air. These types of asthma occur by prolonged exposure to allergens or industrial chemicals. Inhalation of chemical fumes and dust is the major reason for these types of asthmatic attacks.Steroid-Resistant Asthma
You are strongly recommended to take your medications as directed by the doctor. If you don’t take medications in time or take overdose of medications, you are always at the risk of developing a more serious condition, which is known as steroid-resistant asthma. In this case, the patient stops responding to the medications.All these types of asthma need urgent medical assistance regardless of their severity level.

9 Different Types of Asthma – You Should Be Aware Before it is Too Late – Asthma

If you think that asthma is just a general disease with no other types and kinds, think again! Asthma actually is comprised of several types and it is important for doctors to specifically assess and diagnose of what type of asthma their patient is suffering from. This will enable the doctor to prescribe the appropriate medicine and give the needed recommendations.1) Allergic AsthmaThis type of asthma is the most common among all the other types. Statistics show that kids are more prone to allergic asthma with 90% having the disorder. Allergens such as molds, pollen and mites are the most common culprit of allergic asthma. Exercising in cold air or inhaling strong fumes, dust, smoke, perfumes or colognes can actually make it worse.Since allergens can be found everywhere, people with allergic asthma must be careful with the places they go to as well as be vigilant in the cleanliness of their surroundings. As much as possible, they should steer away from dusty places and make their home or work-area as dust-free as possible.2) Non-Allergic AsthmaFrom the name itself, it is obvious that non-allergic asthma is not triggered by any allergy-related factors. Usually it appears after middle age and is most often a result of recurrent infections in the lower and upper respiratory tract.Just like allergic asthma, Non-Allergic is triggered by factors not related to allergies. It is characterized by the obstruction of the airways due to inflammation that is partially reversible and controllable with proper medication. Although the causes of non-allergic asthma may be different, the symptoms are still the same; wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing and tightening of the chest.Non-allergic asthma can be triggered by intangible factors such as stress, anxiety, over or under exercise, cold air, hyperventilation, dry air, viruses, smoke, and other irritants. Unlike allergic asthma, the non-allergic type does not involve the immune system in the reaction.3) Nocturnal AsthmaFrom the name itself, it is quite obvious that this type has something to do with sleep. And yes, it actually has something to do with sleep because it disturbs or disrupts the sleeper’s good night sleep. It deprives individuals from having a good night’s sleep because they usually waken in the middle of the night by very dry coughs.Tightening of the chest is one of the very first symptoms of nocturnal asthma, followed by a series of uncontrollable, dry coughs. This type is one of the least preferred asthma because it is actually a scary kind. Who would want to wake up in the middle of the night feeling helpless and unable to breathe?4) Occupational AsthmaAgain, the background and cause of this type of asthma can already be guessed or determined from the name itself. This kind is just like any other kind where the only thing that makes it distinct from others is that it is acquired in the place where an individual is working.Perhaps one of the most common occupations that induces asthma are teaching (chalk dust exposure), factory workers (exposure to dust and other powders), painters and construction workers (exposure to paint and other fumes), etc.The symptoms are no different from the symptoms of the abovementioned other types; wheezing, dry coughs, tightening of the chest, rapid and shallow breathing are still present.5) Child-onset AsthmaThis usually occurs when children are exposed to certain allergens such as dust mites, fungi, animal proteins, and other potential allergens. When a young child or infant wheezes during viral infections, it may be a hint that asthma may be brewing around the corner as they grow older.6) Adult-onset AsthmaIt can easily be described as a type of asthma that develops during adulthood. It may be allergic, non-allergic, occupational, mixed, seasonal or nocturnal. The distinct characteristic is that it occurs in adulthood.7) Cough-variant AsthmaThis kind of asthma may be a bit difficult to diagnose since it can be confused with other kinds of cough that may be related to chronic bronchitis, sinus diseases or post nasal drips due to hay fever. It would usually take a lot of tests and check-ups before the doctor can make a proper diagnosis.8) Mixed AsthmaThis is a mixture of extrinsic and intrinsic asthma. This is a more serious kind since the sufferer must be vigilant to both extrinsic and intrinsic factors that can trigger asthma attacks.9) Seasonal AsthmaFrom the name itself, seasonal asthma only occurs during certain seasons wherein the pollens or other allergens seem to be more present than any other season. For example, an individual is quite healthy all year round except during Christmas season, when firecrackers are more common. The dust and smoke emitted by firecrackers may be the triggers for the asthma attack.

Adult Onset Asthma – What Is it and Who Gets It? – Asthma

Adult onset asthma means that you developed asthma an adult after having avoided it your whole life. Developing asthma as an adult can be pretty frustrating since you will probably have to make lifestyle changes unless you come up with a treatment that works. And I am not talking about asthma prescription medications since they can cause side effects that are oftentimes worse than your asthma.Asthma can be a very dangerous health problem and needs to be taken seriously. It will not go away by itself and your prescription medications will not cure it. Age does not appear to be a factor as to when adults can develop asthma. You are just as likely to develop asthma as a 25 year old as you are as a seasoned 65 year old. However, for some reason more women develop adult onset asthma than men. That is yet to be fully explained.There Are Some Increased Risk Factors For Getting Asthma as an AdultAlthough there are no clear answers as to why someone would suddenly develop adult onset asthma, there appear to be some different factors that seem to increase your chances of getting it. These are listed below:
Allergies – approximately half of those people who developed adult onset asthma had prior allergies.
Obesity – appears to increase your chances of developing asthma as an adult.
Cat Allergies – anyone with cat allergies seems to have an increased chance of getting adult onset asthma. There is no supporting evidence to show why this happens, but the numbers say it does. Another one of those unsolved mysteries.
Estrogen Supplements – Women who have taken estrogen supplements for at least 10 years after menopause are 50% more likely to develop adult onset asthma. Another one of those interesting facts and figures.
Environmental Conditions – long term exposure to some environmental conditions at work also seems to lead to more asthma cases.
Medications – certain medications like aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral beta blockers, and beta blocker eye drops for glaucoma also seem to increase your chances of developing adult onset asthma.
Infections – other conditions like infections, a cold, the flu, etc., can also increase your chances of developing asthma as an adult.
What is Asthma Having adult onset asthma (or any type of asthma) means that your airways (breathing tubes) going to your lungs are very sensitive and are just waiting to get irritated. For some people they might even be mildly irritated all the time. That will definitely impact your quality of life. Some very annoying and possibly very dangerous results occur when they do get real upset.Results of Irritated Airways
The insides of your airways get extremely sensitive and begin to swell up. This leaves less room for the air to go back and forth to your lungs. It also causes you to cough.
The muscles around the outsides of your airways get real tight and try to squeeze your airways shut. This makes the opening in your airways even smaller.
Gunk or mucus is also produced on the insides your airways. This plugs up the already small airways.
The things that cause your irritated airways are called your asthma triggers. Once your airways get irritated by these triggers, then you start to have your asthma symptoms and what is called an asthma attack.Treatment options are prescription medications (which don’t cure your asthma) or one of the natural asthma treatments which can be very successful in curing your asthma.

Asthma – Status Asthmaticus – Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder in which a person experiences difficulty in breathing, accompanied by wheezing and a “tight” chest. Additional symptoms can be a dry cough and vomiting (usually in children). An asthma attack may start suddenly; the fear and worry that this causes can prolong the attack.Question: What causes asthma attacks?Asthma attacks are caused by a narrowing of the small bronchial tubes in the lungs. The most common kind of asthma (allergic bronchial asthma) is caused by an allergic reaction. Many pollens, molds, dusts (especially dust containing the house mite), and animal hair and dander can cause allergic-type asthma attacks.Asthmatic symptoms are sometimes associated with hay fever. Infection in the respiratory system, exposure to cold, exercise, fatigue, irritating fumes, and certain emotional and psychological states can all trigger an asthma attack. These conditions may also serve as secondary factors that increase the severity or frequency of attacks. Asthma from these causes may occur in people who have no history of allergic reactions, as well as in those who do.Question: How does asthma interfere with breathing?Air passes through the lungs via tubes (called bronchi) and smaller vessels (bronchioles). With asthma, the smaller bronchi and bronchioles become swollen and clogged with mucus, and the muscles surrounding the bronchioles contract so that the air that should pass through is unable to do so. The body reacts to the lack of oxygen, and the patient forces more and more air into the lungs. But, because of the blockages, there is difficulty in exhaling it. The wheezing noise is caused by air being forcibly exhaled through the narrowed bronchi.Question: How long does an asthma attack last?An attack of asthma may last for a few minutes, but most go on for several hours. A severe, prolonged attack (a form of asthma known as status asthmaticus) may last for a number of hours or even days. A person with status asthmaticus requires hospitalization.Question: What immediate help can be given to a person suffering from asthma?With more severe attacks it is important that the patient sit up-right, either in a chair or in bed, propped up by pillows. A table in front of the patient is useful; this can be grasped and the arm muscles used to assist breathing. A patient is rarely hungry, but should be encouraged to drink large amounts of liquids. Bronchial dilator inhalants from aerosol cans may be helpful in relaxing the muscles of the bronchioles. These are available by prescription and must be used according to a physician’s direction. Severe episodes of asthma require immediate medical attention.Question: How does a physician treat asthma between attacks?The goal is to prevent an attack by keeping the bronchi and bronchioles from becoming narrowed. Theophylline, or such adrenergic drugs as epinephrine and isoproterenol, can relieve bronchospasms and, thus, help to prevent bronchial obstruction. (These drugs can also be used during an asthma attack.) Corticosteroids may be useful for short-term relief in severe cases. A new type of inhalant drug, cromolyn sodium (disodium cromoglycate or DSCG), has also proven successful in preventing asthmatic attacks in some persons. The proper drug or combination of drugs will depend upon the prescribing physician as well as the course of the disorder.Question: What is the treatment for severe asthma (status asthmaticus)?An attack of status asthmaticus requires hospitalization and urgent treatment. Some drug treatments are best administered as a mist through a breathing apparatus. Strong bronchodilators can relieve the attack by relaxing the spasms in the bronchioles. In this situation the patient may be attached to a mechanical respirator to aid breathing.Question: Apart from taking the appropriate drugs, what other precautions can be taken to prevent an asthma attack?Several simple measures can reduce the risk of attack. The appropriate medication should be taken prior to events known to trigger an episode-before exercise, for example. A person with allergic asthma should sleep in a room without carpets or rugs. Blankets and pillows of synthetic fiber reduce the risk of house dust and mites. In dry climates, a humidifier can be used to increase the moisture content of the air in the room.For patients in whom asthma is caused by respiratory infection, breathing exercises may be of value. A respiratory therapist can teach the patient the most appropriate ones. These exercises are not only a psychological help in preventing an attack, but when a minor respiratory infection does occur, the lungs should function more efficiently. An asthmatic patient should seek medical advice promptly when suffering from a respiratory infection.Question: Are there any complications involved with chronic asthma?Because so much air is held in the lungs during an asthma attack, the air sacs (alveoli) can become so stretched that the cell walls may tear. This damage causes a gradual loss of elasticity in the lungs and can lead to the condition known as emphysema. If the patient coughs too much, the surface of a lung may burst, causing the air to escape into the cavity that encloses the lung (pleural cavity). This condition is known as a pneumothorax.Other complications can arise from the mucous secretions that do not drain properly during an asthma attack. This can lead to bronchitis and sometimes bronchial pneumonia. Frequent attacks may result in chronic bronchitis.Question: What other disorders might be confused with asthma?A disorder mistakenly known as cardiac asthma has symptoms similar to asthma (gasping for breath, a “tight” chest), but is actually a type of heart disease. Immediate medical attention is required.Question: Can asthma be cured completely?Asthma cannot be cured. The possibility of future attacks can, however, be minimized by drugs and other preventives, but if a person is disposed to asthma, there is always a chance that an attack will occur.Question: Is asthma common in children?Asthma is fairly common in childhood, usually first occurring between the ages of three and eight. Most attacks are an allergic reaction to airborne pollen, certain foods, animal hair, and some other substances. The majority of children with asthma are from families with a history of the illness. Before puberty, asthma occurs more often among boys than girls; after puberty, the incidence is fairly equal between the sexes. Medical treatment includes teaching a child and his or her parents how to detect symptoms of an attack and how to use prescribed medications. Emotional stress can often trigger an asthma attack; children with emotional problems may thus require some form of psychological support.

All About Asthma – Introduction and Info on Asthma – Asthma

IntroductionAsthma affects more than 5 million people in the United Kingdom and for the majority it is a disease that can be well managed with readily available current therapies. Sadly, in the region of 1,500 patients continue to die from their asthma every year. As well as those patients that suffer a fatal asthma attack (FA), there is a cohort of patients that have suffered from a near fatal asthma attack and are subsequently at higher risk of morbidity and mortality. near fatal asthma attack is defined by the British Thoracic Society (BTS) as an asthma attack associated with a raised PaCO2 and/or requiring mechanical ventilation with raised inflation pressures.Patients with fatal asthma have been hypothesised as representing two distinct subgroups according to the onset of symptoms prior to death. One of the scientist examined the autopsy findings of 37 subjects aged 2 to 34 years dying from asthma and classified them as slow onset (Type 1) (n=21) or rapid onset (Type 2) (n=16). Subjects did not differ by age, race, sex, obesity or use of corticosteroids. Type 1 mortalities were hospitalised more and made more emergency room visits in the year prior to death than type 2 mortalities. Slow onset patients had a predominance of eosinophils and basement membrane thickening along with higher health care utilisation.Incidence and prevalence of fatal and near fatal asthmaSpecific data on FA and near fatal asthma attack in the UK are hampered by the lack of a fatal asthma registry. Two studies have attempted to circumvent this problem in different fashions. Harrison et attempted to analyse all asthma deaths in the Eastern region between 2001 and 2003 by means of a confidential enquiry and compared it with previous Norwich and East Anglian data. Between 1998 and 2003 there was a downward trend in the asthma mortality rate. Misclassification on the death certificate was common. Only 57 of 95 notified deaths (60%) were confirmed as asthma deaths. 311 asthma deaths were studied between 1998 and 2003. In 2001-3 the male: female ratio was 3:2. 53% of patients had severe asthma and 21% moderately severe disease. In 19 cases (33%) at least one significant co-morbid disease was present. Monthly death rates peaked in August, with a smaller peak in April, suggesting a seasonal allergic cause. In 11 cases (20%), mostly males aged under 20, the final attack was sudden and 10/11 occurred between April and August. Therefore in 80% of deaths the final attack was not sudden, and may have been preventable. In 81% of cases there was significant behavioural and/or psychosocial factors such as poor compliance (61%), smoking (46%), denial (37%), depression (20%) and alcohol abuse (20%). The overall medical care was appropriate in only 33% of cases, leading the authors to conclude that ‘at-risk’ registers in primary care may improve recognition and management of ‘at-risk’ patients. Watson et analysed data from the CHKS database, which provides data on 70% of inpatient coverage in the UK. Between 2000-2005 the mortality rate was 1063 patients from 250,043 asthma admissions. December and January had the peak number of deaths post asthma admission, which were nearly all in adults. Women and those over 45 years had the highest rate of death. These 2 studies demonstrate that in the UK there is a peak in asthma deaths in young people (aged up to 44 years) in July and August and in December and January in older people.Risk factors associated with fatal and near fatal asthmaA systematic review of the risk factors associated with near fatal asthma attack and FA has been performed by Alvarez et. Increased use of beta-agonists, oral steroids, theophylline and a history of hospital and/or ICU admissions and mechanical ventilation due to asthma were predictors of near fatal asthma attack and FA. The use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) demonstrated a trend toward a protective effect against FA. Poor compliance with prescribed medication is a key issue; approximately 60% of patients that die from asthma demonstrate evidence of poor compliance to medication, in particular to ICS. Severe asthma and FA may also be associated with fungal sensitization. Many airborne fungi are involved including species of Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium, and exposure may be indoors, outdoors or both. Prevention of fatal and near fatal asthma What can be done to prevent FA and near fatal asthma attack attacks? The majority of severe asthma attacks develop relatively slowly with more than 80% developing over greater than 48 hours. There are many similarities between patients with FA, near fatal asthma attack and control patients with asthma that are admitted to hospital, indicating that better management of high risk patients including early intervention has the capacity to prevent asthma deaths. Improving patient compliance is of key importance in preventing FA and near fatal asthma attack, but this is never easy in clinical practice. Effective measures to improve compliance include patient-directed consultations and addressing patients’ fears of ICS side effects. It is critical that patients do not use long acting bronchodilators (LABA) in the absence of ICS; pragmatically this is best achieved, in those patients who need both drugs, by prescribing combination ICS/LABA inhalers, thus guaranteeing ICS delivery to the patient.

Types of Alternative Medicine and Natural Therapy for Asthma – Asthma

BREATHING TECHNIQUESDid you know that you could manage and stem down the severity of asthma by taking some breathing exercises? Breathing techniques, which include Buteyko breathing have for a long time now been used as alternative asthma treatments. Buteyko in particular promotes stable breathing patterns, giving the asthma patient improved oxygen intake as well as conditioning the muscles around the air trachea.Buteyko also reduces the manufacture of mucus, which further opens the air passageways for more intake of oxygen. Asthma sufferers who use the Buteyko technique are able to cut down on the reliance for artificial medication by up to 90%.MEDITATION FOR ASTHMAThe main aim of meditation is to use precise mental focus to induce a state of relaxation. Several techniques are used to achieve this state including chanting, visualization and controlled breathing. This relaxation reduces tensions and improves the flow of oxygen, blood and mental alertness. All the three resultants of meditation have been known to act as alternative treatment to asthma.Controlled breathing, which results from meditation, has proven effects for asthmatic people. The exercises help to strengthen the lungs as well as prevent future panic when the attacks hit.USE OF VITAMINSConsumption of vitamins and provitamins can also be used to treat asthma. Numerous studies have for instance ascertained that Vitamin D reduces asthma symptoms. It works well on all forms of asthma including the steroid-resistant asthma type.According to scientists who carried the research on Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin reduces the level of chemicals that act as asthma triggers in the body.USING HERBS TO TREAT ASTHMAHerbal medicine, also known as botanical medicinal uses plants and extracts from plant to treat illnesses. Historically, herbs were the only medicine that man had, and not surprisingly, herbal remedies continue to command significant reverence in the modern world. Advance in science and technology has been able to offer photochemical evidence of curative properties of many wild plants and herbs. This means that you can be absolutely sure when you decide to use herbal medicine to treat asthma.In Japan, researchers reported that herbs known as Kampo helped reduce daily symptoms of asthma in 200 people. A lot of other herbs are offered as bronchodilators, which considering they do not contain chemicals, are better than the artificial steroids and bronchodilators.AROMATHERAPYAlthough there is very little research on aromatherapy, a few asthmatic people reported using it to alleviate daily asthma symptoms. Aromatherapy makes use of volatile plant extracts and essential oils to alter moods and cognitive functions.Extracts from lavender (which is a relaxant), ginger and peppermint have all been used successfully as aromatherapy treatments for asthmatics. Other extracts that you can use to reduce the symptoms of asthma include frankincense, rose, geranium and German Chamomile.If you are going to be using aromatherapy to treat asthma, you will need to do it cautiously as some asthmatics are allergic to perfumes. The fragrance can trigger their attacks. More importantly, you should never use aromatherapy as a substitute for actual asthma treatment. You will also need to consult a physician before you can apply aromatherapy as a treatment for asthma.YOGAYoga is probably the simplest natural relief for asthma. It is popular and effective method of preventing from frequent asthma attacks. There are specific positions that are taught in yoga classes that effect the way blood flows in the respiratory system and the way we breathe.Yoga exercises also increase the capacity of the lungs, allowing them to hold more breath. Apart from asthma, yoga also has a lot of other curative properties for many diseases including some form of mental illnesses.HOMEOPATHYHomeopathy is a treatment option that makes use of diluted infusions that are derived from plants, minerals and animal extracts. The extracts are then administered as tablets or in liquid form. Homeopathy offers a lot of advantages including increased energy levels, supports the immune system and is natural and holistic.We have already seen how bronchodilators and steroids do not comprise an effective cure for asthma. The two work wonderfully in cases of acute asthma and in situations when immediate relief is desired. They however do not come close in comparison to homeopathy as a long term solution to asthma.Homeopathy when applied as a remedy for asthma is probably the only treatment that addresses the root cause of the problem. Homeopathic treatments work by strengthening the body’s natural immune system so that it is less affected by allergens and other irritants in the atmosphere.Asthmatics who use homeopathy as a form of treatment report an alleviated intensity and regularity of asthma attacks and symptoms. They also report increased tolerance to pollen, dust and other irritants.

Asthma or Not? Cough in Children With Asthma – Asthma

A cough is likely due to asthma if it refuses to go away over days, weeks or months, is worse at night or early in the morning, or if it comes and goes without notice.A cough is even more likely due to asthma if the child also suffers from a chronic rough skin rash called eczema, or if a parent or other close relative has asthma.Kids and adolescents can develop asthma at any age. So, no matter at what age such a cough began, the recognition that the child might have an underlying asthma condition is essential.Sadly, many parents are reluctant to accept a diagnosis of asthma, a dilemma which leads to unnecessary pain and suffering, delay in treatment and even loss of life. For parents who can’t come to term with their child having asthma, I have good news: a cough due to asthma quickly gets better with proper medications. Moreover, children can outgrow their asthma.Why people suffer from asthmaPeople who suffer from asthma have sensitive, hyper-responsive lungs, in the same way that people who suffer from eczema have sensitive skin.A sensitive lung can go into spasm or constriction at any time. Spasm narrows small air channels, limiting airflow within the lungs and suddenly making it difficult for people with asthma to breathe. During such an episode of asthma attack, patients can experience shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, fast breathing, and chest tightness or discomfort.Wheezing is a high-pitched musical sound taking place in the chest of someone who is experiencing an asthma attack. When loud, people nearby can hear it; but at other times it can only be heard by clinicians who listen to the chest with a stethoscope.Asthma triggersCatarrh or runny nose with its concomitant viral infection, cold weather, pets such as cats and dogs, dust, dirt, cockroaches, pollutants, paint fumes, perfumes, mold, grass, pollens and cigarette smoke can trigger already sensitive lungs into an episode of coughing and wheezing. Exercise, as well as emotions, also triggers a cough and shortness of breath in people with sensitive lungs.Cough as a sign of asthmaCough, a common problem, is one of the many signs of asthma. Parents and caregivers bring children to clinicians when their cough continues for many days and does not resolve with cough syrup. A cough is bothersome to children; it can prevent them from sleeping at night or during the day, can provoke them to vomit, can make them fearful of eating and even cause them to lose weight. When a cough and fever go together in a child, a more sinister illness such as pneumonia comes to mind.Severity of asthmaWhen evaluating a child with asthma, it is important to assess the severity of the symptoms. Some children have the intermittent form of asthma, while others have the persistent form.People with the irregular form of asthma experience symptoms once in a while. Those who have a persistent form experience degrees of symptoms more often, usually on a weekly basis or a daily basis, and sometimes even several times a day.Examination of children with asthmaClinicians look for signs of distress when presented with a child with an acute attack of asthma. The in-and-out pulling of chest muscles in a patient, or ‘retraction’, signals air-hunger and agony.When there is no obvious wheezing, chest retraction or spontaneous coughing, I tend to ask the child, if they are old enough and comfortable, to cough out loud so that I can hear itBy the sound, one can often tell from where a cough is coming: from the throat, or pharynx, or from deep in the chest. The latter would mean that the lungs are the source of the problem, and therefore indicative of asthma. This distinction is important.Respiratory rates, temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation are some of the vital signs obtained at the time of first examination.Diagnosis of asthmaClinicians can diagnose asthma in a patient who has a cough by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. A high-pitched musical sound, known as a wheeze, is suggestive of this condition. When a patient’s symptoms are relieved with the use of a bronchodilator, such as albuterol, the diagnosis is all but certain.Asthma medicationsDrugs for asthma treatment, known as bronchodilators, are targeted to open up the narrowed airways so that air can get into the lungs. Another group of medications called ‘inhaled steroids’ reduces mucus production and inflammation in the small air channels. People with frequent asthma attacks should use both medications. Medical practitioners need to explain details of use.Asthma control and preventionPrevention is the key to containing asthma. People who have the condition should avoid known environmental triggers; some of the well-known allergens-dust, cats, dogs, smoke, roaches and so on have already been mentioned. Different asthmatics can have different triggers.An asthma action plan is a set of steps which, when completed by medical practitioners, guides patients on the use of their medication before and during symptoms, and what to do when symptoms do not improve. There is also a section that tells users how to control things in their environment that make their asthma worse.Why do people die from asthma?Two years ago, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, in the USA reported 187 children under the age of 18 had died that year as a result of asthma.My guess is that the numbers of children who die of asthma every day within the inner cities of underdeveloped countries such as Onitsha in Nigeria, where pollution is at every street corner and people breathe air mixed with smoke, dirt and dust, are countless.Simple measures such as avoiding asthma triggers and prompt use of asthma medication would prevent many unnecessary deaths. Failure to recognize the illness is the most heartbreaking and obvious reason for the high numbers. Furthermore, lack of access to much-needed medication as well as a delay in seeking expert medical intervention is often to blame.EndDisclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases but is merely based on the author’s experience. Readers should consult their physician before implementing any part of the suggestions.

Asthma Part 1: An Overview – Asthma

Welcome to this first part of a four-part series on asthma, where we aim to understand what it is and how it can be managed.Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. Recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing are all hallmarks of asthma.Asthma affects people of all ages, but most often starts during childhood.OverviewAsthmatics have inflamed airways in their lungs. Inflamed airways are narrowed and very sensitive, thereby reacting very stronglt to inhaled allergens.When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten, narrowing the airways causing reduced airflow into the lungs. The swelling can and will progress, farther narrowing the airways. Associated with this process is the increased production of mucus, a thick, sticky fluid that farther narrows the already narrowed airways.These reactions result in the symptoms of asthma – Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.Asthmatic symptoms are often mild and spontaneously resolve or are easily treated with minimal treatment. However, in some cases, it can progress and become worse, resulting in what is commonly known as an asthmatic attack.Hence, treating symptoms of asthma early is paramount. By the time an asthmatic attack ensues, emergency care is required and if left untreated, asthma can be fatal.There is no cure for asthma. However, with proper and thorough ongoing treatment, asthma can be managed and sufferers of asthma can and will continue to lead normal and active lives.Populations At RiskMost often, asthma starts during childhood but it can affect all ages.Young children who frequently suffer from respiratory infections are at highest risk of developing asthma. Other risk factors influencing the development of asthma include being atopic (having multiple allergies), eczema, or, as mentioned above, having parents who are also asthmatic.Boys have a higher risk of developing asthma compared to girls. However, once adulthood is reached, there are more female asthmatics compared to their male counterparts. As a sum total, most people with asthma have allergies.Another significant population with asthma are industrial workers who come into contact with chemical irritants or industrial pollutants in their workplace. This population develops occupational asthma, a contentious disease label.Causes of AsthmaA multitude of causes for asthma have been documented so far. These include:

Genetic causes, especially atopic individuals or asthmatic parents

Childhood Respiratory Infections

A multitude of airborne allergens have been implicated

Signs and Symptoms of AsthmaCommon signs and symptoms of asthma include:



Chest tightness

Shortness of breath.

Coughing caused by Asthma is often worse at night, disrupting sleep. Wheezing is a squeaky, whooshy sound that is audible with each breath. Chest tightness and shortness of breath can and is often confused with cardiac causes and can result in undue stress to the patient.Having one or more of the above symptoms do not automatically diagnose asthma. Proper lung function tests, history taking and a physical examination by a health profession is the only way of confirming asthma.The type and severity of symptoms of asthma suffered by the patients though determines the management of the disease. Because symptoms vary over time, asthmatics need to be aware of their own symptoms and fluctuations thereof, and seek treatment early because while mild symptoms can be simply annoying, severe symptoms can seriously limit daily routines and exercise, and very severe symptoms can potentially cause death if untreated.Treatment is now available to prevent the onset of asthma in known asthmatics.Triggers Of AsthmaThese include:

Allergens – dust, animal fur, cockroaches, mold, and pollens from trees, grasses, and flowers etc.

Chemical Irritants – cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals, workplace dust, sprays etc.

Medicines – NSAIDs (eg aspirin) and B-Blockers (eg Atenolol).

Upper respiratory infections

Physical activity – exercise can trigger asthma.

This list is not exhaustive. Each asthmatic is unique and it is best if you seek advice from your health professional.Prevention Of AsthmaAsthma can’t be cured. But you can prevent it. Following these simple steps will go a long way in managing asthma.

Educate yourself about asthma. Empower yourself.

Have an Asthma Action Plan and follow through with it.

Follow your physician’s medicine regime

Identify the triggers that cause your asthma and avoid them

Document progression of your asthma

Regular visits to your treating physician

In the next part of this series, we look at what to prepare and expect during a medical consultation.

How Will You Prevent Asthma? What Is The Best Treatment For Asthma? – Asthma

The typical symptoms being shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness of chest, when all of these appear, we know it is the distressing condition of asthma. Its here we realize the importance of normal breathing, a thing we all take for granted all the time. The asthma attacks are dreaded and a silent threat lurks all the time on the sufferer, with every breath he or she takes.Asthma is a chronic disease that inflames and narrows your airways in the lungs and makes breathing an extremely difficult task for the sufferer. The airways remain inflamed in this condition and the muscles around the airways always remain tightened when a trigger flares up the asthma and you suffer from a full fledged asthma attack. Even to witness a severe attack makes your own breath alter; such is the excruciating situation for the sufferer.Why is Asthma becoming more common in recent years?Every year people being diagnosed with asthma are just growing leaps and bounds and it is now turning into an epidemic. Many studies have revealed that its frequency has increased with more and more people being affected by it and, most importantly it’s being reported in large numbers.
• A common answer to this problem could be the worsening of the air quality and the decline in the environmental conditions.• The modern houses being very tight for the existence means that the circulation of fresh air in the house is far more less. The stimuli that promote the development of asthma, from dust and mites to molds and dander to second hand cigarette smoke, all are found in great concentrations in tightly sealed homes.• While there is another theory behind the rising allergy and asthma diagnosis rates and a surprising one indeed, this also makes a lot of sense. The living conditions in much of the world might be too clean and the children are not being exposed to the kind of germs that the body is able to combat, in order to build up the immune system for tougher things. The immune system when suddenly exposed to the irritants reacts in a drastic way causing lungs to get inflamed and making breathing a difficult task. This leading theory being studied and researched is known as ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’.• It is also indicated that the significantly increased use of certain medications contribute to the increase in asthma. The early or too much use of antibiotics bring about a change in the bacterial flora and hence impacts and develops allergic diseases like asthma.
• The alarming rate of Vitamin D deficiency being reported is also a reason for the rising cases of asthma. Vitamin D is extremely essential for lung and immune system development. Children, adults with the advent of modern gadgets spend more and more time indoor, subsequently there is very less exposure to sunlight and there is deficiency of Vitamin D production in the body.So can asthma attacks be prevented?While this excruciating condition is not curable, but it certainly can be prevented through self care in order to prevent this condition from getting worse. Self care is an integral part of our lives and it involves taking responsibility for your own health, what you eat everyday to stay fit, maintain good physical and mental health, prevent illnesses or accidents and care more for minor ailments as this is all that matters to avoid this painful condition of asthma.• One of the most important step in keeping asthma at bay is your partnership with your doctor or health care provider and an approach with includes medications with simply smart lifestyle steps to follow.• Taking regular medications according to your asthma action plan as directed by the doctor can really help in keeping the situation under control.• Another important point to remember incase of asthma is, you must know and identify things that trigger your condition and to avoid them in order to prevent an asthma flare up.• Wash the bedding weekly and dust it regularly if you fear dust mites.• No matter how much of an animal lover or a pet lover you are, keep a safe distance from your dear pets. Sorry! Its hard but got to do it for your good health.• Mold problems could be fixed by eliminating all kind of standing water in the planters and similar objects.Prevent Asthma attacks at work, how?• The cleaning substance may have triggered your last asthma flare up in the office, you never know, find out and keep away if so is the case.
• You must know the nearest hospital to your office in case there is a sudden asthma attack.
• Try to keep stress level in control; it is known to make your already distressing situation worse.
• Avoid smoking areas, smoke and the odor of tobacco can trigger these attacks, so avoid smoking and also visiting the smoking area to prevent an asthma trigger from flaring up.Other times
• If you have exercises induced asthma then avoid too much activity in cold and hot conditions.
• If you have seasonal allergies that trigger asthma symptoms then stay indoors during the peak pollen days and keep your inhaler handy all the time.Are there natural remedies that can prevent asthma too?Yes, nature has a cure for almost anything it embraces and asthma is not left far behind when it comes to treating this painful condition of the airways.Yoga, an age old practice can leave asthma extremely disempowering. It improves the free flow of air in lungs and encourages fresh air to enter the air sacs; by continuous practice of yoga you can even keep your medications at bay in some time.The regular use of herb like ginger is well known to bring down airway inflammation and it also inhibits airway contraction. One inch of ginger when grated and boiled in water, steeped for about five minutes and consumed regularly can prove to be beneficial in asthma.Garlic also is known for its decongestant qualities, especially during the early stages of asthma. Boil two to three cloves of garlic in milk and have it regularly. See the difference these natural remedies can bring about in improving your condition.Yes, your coffee too can prove to be beneficial in controlling asthma attacks. A cup of hot coffee relaxes and clears the airways to help you breathe easily; the stronger the coffee the better is the results.Eucalyptus oil is an effective treatment for asthma symptoms too because of its decongestant properties. Many studies have shown the important role played by the chemical eucalyptol which helps in breaking down the mucus. Just by sprinkling a few drops on a paper towel and keeping it on your head, will help your airways relax. You can also put a few drops of it in boiling water and take steam. Try to take deep breaths if possible.Mustard oil does not only make your food healthy, but can prove to be very beneficial in case of an asthma attack. Massaging mustard oil on the chest can help clear the respiratory passages and restore normal breathing. Heat some mustard oil with camphor and gently rub it on the chest and upper back. Do this exercise several times a day until the symptoms subsides.The nutritional properties of figs promote respiratory health and help in draining out the phlegm and helps in alleviating breathing difficulties. Soak the figs in water overnight, eat the fig and drink the water too. Home remedies affect your system gradually, slowly and the best part is that they are natural so please don’t get impatient for immediate results.Turmeric, my favorite and tried and tested herb will assist you in providing quick relief from asthma along with its symptoms. This herb has been known for curing plethora of maladies including asthma and the best part is that it does all this without causing any side effects.Turmeric with all its anti-inflammatory properties can help in clearing out the troubling mucus in the lungs and soothe the irritation and the blockage of the airways, therefore making breathing easy.• It contains anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties that aid in killing the infection and reduce the spasms of asthma as well as the frequency of the attacks.• This also enhances the functioning of the liver and prevent blockage of the airways.• Curcumin, the bioactive enzyme found in turmeric is extremely effective in treating bronchial asthma and provides you relief from windpipe inflammation of the airway.• Turmeric helps in dilating the blood vessels that allow better air flow, restores normal breathing pattern, thins the blood and soothes your body which might have gone through trauma.• Rich in minerals and fiber, it gives a thumping boost to your immunity.The more we speak about this magic herb the more we unfold its magic, so all I can suggest is to sprinkle its goodness in your food and have it in your milk to ensure you are using it to corner asthma.Is living a normal life with asthma possible?Yes, it is possible provided you manage it well, you follow your treatment plan, avoid places and things that might trigger it. Follow natural remedies, stay active, keep stress away, stay alert, stay safe and stay positive.

13 Effective Home Remedies for Asthma – Asthma

Read this article to know the best Home Remedies for Asthma. First of all let me tell you what is Asthma?Asthma happens when the main air passages of your lungs, the bronchial tubes, become inflamed. Asthma is a chronic but treatable situation. It is a very common long-term condition that affects your airways and breathing. It affects the airways, the small tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. It may be very mild, or it can be very severe. Asthma can be deadly if it’s not controlled. More than 20 million Americans are expected to have asthma, an immune disorder that affects the muscles around the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs.Asthma goes by a number of names like wheezy bronchitis, bronchial asthma, asthmatic bronchitis and reactive airway disease (RAD). Most asthma attacks are caused by allergies to inhaled substances such as pollen, dust, and animal dander. There is no cure for asthma and proper management is essential. The main symptoms of asthma comprise cough, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and wheezing. When people with asthma are bare to triggers, the airways in their lungs become inflamed and swollen.During some asthma attacks, the muscles around the airways can also tighten and the airways can produce mucus. Allergic asthma engages the body’s immune system. There is no fixed period of time in which asthma can enlarge.Asthma causesMost asthma attacks are caused by allergies to inhaled substances such as pollen, dust, and animal dander. They include: Allergens (substances to which some people are allergic) such as pollens, foods, dust, mould, feathers, or animal dander (small scales from animal hair or feathers);Irritants in the air such as dirt, cigarette smoke, gases, and odors; Respiratory infections such as colds, flu, sore throats, and bronchitis; Too much effort such as running upstairs too fast or carrying heavy loads (although people with asthma can benefit from a reasonable amount of exercise);Emotional stress such as excessive fear or excitement; Weather such as very cold air, windy weather, or sudden changes in weather; Medication such as aspirin or related drugs and some drugs used to treat glaucoma and high blood pressure.Asthma SymptomsSymptoms are: daytime coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness; night-time coughing and wheezing. Symptoms may occur a number of times in a day or week in affected persons, and for some people become worse during physical activity or at night.Asthma ControlAsthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack. Uncontrolled asthma can be a danger to maternal well-being and fetal growth and survival.Here is a list of some best Home Remedies for Asthma:Home Remedies for Asthma1) One may mix a tablespoon of honey with a half a tablespoon of cinnamon powder and consume prior to sleeping or one can boil eight to ten cloves of garlic in half a cup of milk and consume it at night and this is a wonderful natural asthma remedy for those who are in the early stages of asthma. This is a useful Home Remedy for Asthma2) Another helpful natural asthma remedy is figs, which help in draining the phlegm and washing three to four dry figs with water and drenched them in a cup of water would help when eaten on an empty stomach along with drinking the fig-soaked water.3) There is one more natural asthma remedy in the form of taking a cup of water and soaking one teaspoon of Fenugeek seeds during the night. Fenugeek seeds, which taken with a cup of water overnight is a further natural asthma remedy.4) Steaming ginger tea with minced garlic cloves must be given two times in a day for asthma cure.5) For asthma cure the patient should also be made to breathe in steam from boiling water mixed with ajwain. Add one teaspoonful of honey and drink the mixture two times or thrice a day for asthma cure. This is an effective Home Remedy for Asthma6) Soak dry grapes in water at night and keep in cold milk for half an hour and chew them to treat asthma.7) For asthma treatments mix one gram of dry ginger powder and one gram of black pepper in one teaspoon of molasses of honey.8) For asthma cure turmeric can be taken along with honey in the morning on empty stomach to decrease the intensity of attack.9) For people who are in their premature stages of asthma, a great Home Remedy for Asthma is to boil 8-10 cloves of garlic in ½ cup of milk and consume it during nighttime.10) Take very hot water and put in a tsp of honey in it. Take it just before sleeping and take small sips.11) In 1 cup of water soak 1 tsp of Fenugreek seeds overnight. Insert 1 tsp of Ginger juice and 1 tsp of honey to this. It has to be consumed two times during morning as well as evening. This is another effective Home Remedy for Asthma12) The roots of the bitter gourd plant have been used as medicine for asthma cure. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an identical amount of honey or juice of the tulsi leaves, given once every night for a month, acts as an outstanding medicine for this disease.13) A soup prepared from drumstick leaves, and taken once daily, has been found helpful in the treatment of asthma. This soup is prepared by adding up a handful of leaves to 180ml of water and boiling it for five minutes. After being permitted to cool, a little salt, pepper, and lime juice may be added to this soup.