It is very rightly said that when we own our breathe nobody can steal our peace. We all need to breathe…it’s after all the secret of Life, hence imagine the state of a person when every breath for him or her is an effort & a moment of a fight for survival. Now, what exactly is the condition which causes a person difficulty in breathing & the most commonly heard condition is called Asthma.
Asthma is a disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swells. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by.
Insensitive people, asthma symptoms are triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances (called allergens or triggers).
Common asthma triggers include:
- Animals (pet hair or dander
- Changes in weather (most often cold weather)
- Chemicals in the air or in food
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
- Strong emotions (stress)
- Tobacco smoke
- Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) provoke asthma in some patients.
- Many people with asthma have a personal or family history of allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or eczema.
Symptoms of Asthma
Most people with asthma have attacks separated by symptom-free periods. Some people have long-term shortness of breath with episodes of increased shortness of breath. Either wheezing or a cough may be the main symptom.
Asthma attacks can last for minutes to days and can become dangerous if the airflow is severely restricted.
- A cough with or without sputum (phlegm) production
- Pulling in of the skin between the ribs when breathing.
- Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise or activity
- Comes in episodes with symptom-free periods in between
- Maybe worse at night or in an early morning
- May go away on its own
- Gets better when using drugs that open the airways (bronchodilators)
- Gets worse when breathing in cold air
- Gets worse with exercise
- Gets worse with heartburn (reflux)
- Usually begins suddenly
- Bluish color to the lips and face
- Decreased level of alertness, such as severe drowsiness or confusion, during an asthma attack
- Extreme difficulty in breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath
Other Symptoms that may occur with this Disease:
- Abnormal breathing pattern –breathing out takes more than twice as long as breathing in
- Breathing temporarily stops
- Chest pain
- Tightness in the chest
Causes of Asthma
You can reduce asthma symptoms by avoiding known triggers and substances that irritate the airways.
- Remove carpets from bedrooms and vacuum regularly.
- Use only unscented detergents and cleaning materials in the home.
- Keep humidity levels low and fix leaks to reduce the growth of organisms such as mold.
- Keep the house clean and keep food in containers and out of bedrooms — this helps reduce the possibility of cockroaches, which trigger asthma attacks in some people.
- If a person is allergic to an animal that cannot be removed from the home, the animal should be kept out of the bedroom. Place filtering material over the heating outlets to trap animal dander.
- Eliminate tobacco smoke from the home. This is the single most important thing a family must do to help a child with asthma. Smoking outside the house is not enough. Family members and visitors who smoke outside carry smoke residue inside on their clothes and hair – this too triggers asthma symptoms.
Persons with asthma should also avoid air pollution, industrial dusts, and other irritating fumes as much as possible.
Emergency symptoms for Asthma
Homeopathy is the system of medicine which tries to ‘cure’ this disease, instead of trying to provide symptomatic relief. While dealing with a case of asthma, a homeopath not only records the symptoms of the disease but also studies the medical history, family history, physical and psychological characteristics of a person. This helps to find the cause, the precipitating factors,the hereditary tendency or is there a history of suppression of skin disease. Homeopaths believe that when there is a tendency or predisposition for a disease – it first manifests on the less vital organs, towards the periphery (like skin). If this manifestation is suppressed than the disease shifts inwards, towards the more vital organs (like lungs, heart, brain etc).
Once the symptoms are ascertained the selection of the suitable homeopathic medicine. In almost 80% cases the asthma patient gets relief from their acute distress phase & they are saved from the side effects of strong medications & steroids.
It is sometimes observed that when a right homeopathic medicine is given, the asthma disappears but the old eczema (if it was there originally) reappears for some time, before finally disappearing itself. This reappearance of old symptoms is seen as a reversal of disease process and is considered a very good prognostic sign by homeopaths.
Some of the wonder Homeopathic medicines like Arsenic alb, Spongia, Natrum sulph, Antim tart & many more bring relief in many cases of asthma but it is the finesse of an experienced homeopath who with their experience are able to arrive at the right medicine & give relief to the patient.
Medicines for Asthma
There are lots of medicines in homeopathy for asthma and it is not possible to list them all here. Some of the common medicines are ars-alb, ipecac, lachesis, pulsatilla, spongia, sulphur, ignatia, antim-tart, hepar-sulph, nat-sulph, tuberculinum etc. The selection of medicine varies from patient to patient.