By Neepa Sevak
The word "asthma" comes from the Greek, meaning, "to breathe hard." "Breath is life and life is breath". Breathing is such an accepted reality of life that we do not give much significance to it until we are deprived of it. Ask an asthma patient the agony and distress of waking up in the middle of the night, with a feeling of suffocation, short ineffectual cough, labored breathing, and wheezing.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by inflammation and spasm of the bronchial tubes (airways) that transfer air into and out of the lungs. The bronchial tubes of an asthmatic patient are hypersensitive and react excessively to things that are minor irritants to people without asthma. Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include coughing, producing a lot of mucus, paroxysms of wheezing, difficult breathing and tightness of chest, feeling of suffocation and anxiety. Asthma can happen at any age, but most often develops in childhood. This health condition seems to be increasing in our population. It affects one in ten adults and one in seven children.
Causes of Asthma
Actual cause of asthma is unknown but is generally due to a hypersensitivity of the lungs and airways to certain "triggers" such as:
- Pollens, dust mites, pets.
- Foods such as fish, eggs, peanuts, nuts, cow’s milk.
- Respiratory infections, like colds, bronchitis, and sinusitis.
- Certain drug sensitivity.
- Tobacco, smoke, weather changes, diesel fumes, paint, detergents, deodorants, chemicals, dust, gases, and perfumes.
- Emotional stress.
- Hormonal factors, such as in premenstrual syndrome.
- Genetic tendency in children with a family history of asthma, allergy or eczema are more prone to this disease. Approximately 80% of children and 50% of adults with asthma also have allergies.
How to Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
- People with asthma may seem anxious and restless and may cough with each breath as an attack comes on.
- Wheezing that initiates as a slight whistling sound and progresses to an evidently shrill noise with each labored breath.
- Coughing that gets worse over minutes to hours.
- The chest may appear curved in and the ribs may show as the person with asthma struggles to get air. This is observed well in children, as their small chest is flexible.
- Exhaling (breathing out) takes longer than inhaling (breathing in).
- Breathing is faster as the person fights to get enough oxygen.
- Fingernails and lips may turn blue (especially in children).
- Shortness of breath – air hunger.
Homeopathic Treatment of Asthma
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that supports the body’s own healing mechanism, by means of specially prepared remedies. It is possible to treat asthma with correctly selected Homeopathic medicines. However, it involves careful study of every episode to evaluate the cause that might have precipitated the attack, the exact symptoms, and the factors that make the attack worse or better. Every patient suffering from asthma experiences it in a different way: with exertion, when apprehensive, when outdoors, in summer, in winter, on waking, after eating, etc. Persons treated with homeopathy may be saved from using heavy doses of inhalers, steroids, and bronchodilators.
Below I have noted some of the basic homeopathic remedies that can be of assistance in treating an acute attack of asthma at home. Constitutional homeopathic care with the management of an experienced professional Homeopath can help to recover a person’s general health on deeper levels by treating asthma from the origin rather than suppressing its symptoms, and in all prospects diminish the tendency towards asthma. Thus you can rely on homeopathy for healthy breathing and a healthy life with an enhanced resistance power.