Asthma cause due to allergens from nature, typically inhaled, which include waste from common household pests, such as the house dust mite and cockroach, grass pollen, mould spores, and pet epithelial
cells. Indoor air pollution from volatile organic compounds, including perfumes and perfumed products.
Food allergies such as milk, peanuts, and eggs. However, asthma is rarely the only symptom, and not all people with food or other
allergies have asthma.
Use of fossil fuel related allergenic air pollution, such as ozone, smog, summer smog, nitrogen dioxide, and
sulfur dioxide, which is thought to be one of the major reasons for the high prevalence of asthma in urban
areas. Various industrial compounds and other chemicals, notably sulfites; chlorinated swimming pools generate
chloramines —monochloramine (NH2Cl), dichloramine (NHCl2) and trichloramine (NCl3)
- in the air around them, which are known to induce asthma.
Early childhood infections: However, persons of any age can have asthma triggered by colds and other respiratory infections.
Eighty percent of asthma attacks in adults and 60% in children are caused by respiratory viruses.
Types of Asthma
asthma: Airways narrowed as a result of the inflammatory response cause wheezing.
Bronchoconstriction: During an asthma episode, inflamed airways react to environmental triggers such
as smoke, dust, or pollen. The airways narrow and produce excess mucus, making
it difficult to breathe. In essence, asthma is the result of an immune response in the bronchial airways.
Stimuli: The airways of asthmatics are "hypersensitive" to certain triggers,
known as stimuli In response to exposure to these triggers, the bronchi
(large airways) contract into spasm (an "asthma attack"). Inflammation soon follows, leading to a further narrowing of the airways and excessive mucus
production, which leads to coughing and other breathing difficulties.
Occupational asthma: That's asthma caused by exposure to allergens present in the average office - and a new study says it's on the rise.
Exposure to wood dust, paint fumes, solvents, latex and baking flour - all workplace allergens - cause thousands of cases of asthma every year, according to a report released on
Moay 12, 2008 by
the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The study shows that anywhere from 9 to 15 per cent of
adult-onset asthma cases can be attributed to exposure to agents at the workplace,
Science Alert reported. Occupations with the greatest risk for occupational asthma include farming, painting, cleaning, baking, animal handling and chemical work.
Other at-risk occupations include nursing, welding, food processing, dentistry, timber and forestry industries, and industries that produce metals, plastics, electronics, rubber and textiles.
Asthma is defined simply as reversible airway obstruction. Reversibility occurs
either spontaneously or with treatment. The basic measurement is peak flow rates. In many cases, a physician can diagnose asthma on the basis of typical findings
in a patient's clinical history and examination. Diagnosis in children is based on a
careful compilation and analysis of the patient's medical history. Monitoring asthma with a peak flow meter on an ongoing basis assists with self
monitoring of asthma. Peak flow readings can be charted on graph paper charts
together with a record of symptoms or use peak flow charting software. A peak flow meter, a simple device to measure lung volume, can be used at home
to help you "see an attack coming" and take the appropriate action, sometimes even before any symptoms appear.
Asthma Diagnosed by a device called a spirometer to check how your lungs are working. This test is called
spirometry. The test measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs after taking a deep breath, and how fast you can do it . The results will be lower than normal if your airways are inflamed and narrowed, or if the
muscles around your airways have tightened up.
In capnography which measures the amount of exhaled carbon
dioxide, along with pulse oximetry which shows the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood, to determine the severity of an asthma
attack as well as the response to treatment. Direct aspiration (dysphagia) can be diagnosed by performing a Modified Barium Swallow
test and treated with feeding therapy.
A majority of children who are asthma sufferers have an identifiable allergy
trigger. Allergy tests can help identify avoidable symptom triggers. After a pulmonary function test has been carried out, radiological tests, such
as a chest X-ray or CT scan, may be required to exclude the possibility of other lung diseases.
Some of other tests includes:
Allergy testing to find out if and what allergens affect you.
A test to see how your airways react to exercise.
Tests to see if you have gastro esophageal reflux disease.
A test to see if you have sinus disease.
For people suffering from mild asthma (infrequent attacks), the use of inhalers
can be need-based, while those having significant asthma (symptoms occurring
every week) must be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, preferably inhaled corticosteroids and
bronchodilators. Acute or severe asthma attacks may require hospitalization, administration of oxygen and intravenous medication.
Drugs and inhalers have only a limited value in alleviating symptoms. Most of these drugs are habit forming and the dose has to be increased from time to
time, thus making patient more dependent on them. The root cause, i.e., allergy has to be taken care of. The natural way to treat asthma consists of stimulating
the functioning of slack excretory organs, adopting appropriate diet patterns to eliminate morbid matter and reconstruct the body, and practicing
yoga-pranayam for assimilation of food and strengthen lungs, digestive system and circulatory system.
The patient should be given enema to clean the colon and prevent auto-intoxication. Mud packs applied to abdomen will relive fermentation caused
by undigested food and will promote intestinal peristalsis. Wet packs should be applied to the chest to relive congestion of lungs and to strengthen them. The
patient should be made to perspire through steam bath, hot foot bath, hot hipbath and sun bath. This will remove accumulated toxins and will also help in
removing congestion of lungs.
The patient should fast for 3-4 days on lemon juice with honey. After fasting,
he/she should start a fruit diet, but care has to be taken that acid forming foods are kept limited. More liberal use of alkaline food should be made, like
green vegetables and germinated gram. Fried foods, rice, sugar, lentils and curds should be avoided as it forms phlegm.
Asthmatics should avoid taking water with meals and should always eat less then
their capacity to make stomach fire stronger and thereby hardly leaving any chance to form phlegm. In acute cases, do no force the patient to eat. Warm water sips at frequent
intervals will be helpful. 2 spoons of dry ginger powder are added in one liter of water, which is boiled for 10 minutes, and this water on cooling is supposed
to be sipped every hour. This produces sufficient heat in the body to break down the mucus, dilate air passages and decrease congestion by reducing inflammation.
Regular intake of onion juice helps in reliving acute symptoms as it is a strong anti-inflammatory. This quality is because of the compound named
diphenylthiosulphinate, thiosulphinates which has stronger anti-inflammatory
property than prednisolone.
The patient’s diet should contain regular use of black pepper powder and garlic. Both of them have mucus moving capacity thereby making breathing easier. Honey
contains higher alcohols and ethereal oils and the vapors given off by them are soothing and beneficial to asthma patients. Honey usually brings relief when the
air flowing over it is inhaled or is consumed with warm water/ milk. It tones up the pulmonary parenchyma and thereby prevents the production of mucus in future.
It also aids in thinning mucus which has already been accumulated. Use of turmeric powder - half a spoon thrice a day with one full glass of water acts as
anti-infective and anti inflammatory.
During an attack, mustard oil mixed with little camphor should be massaged over
the back of the chest. This loosens phlegm immediately and eases breathing. Inhaling vapors of caraway seeds
(ajwain seeds) after adding it to boiling water dilates the bronchial passage.
The patient should do breathing exercises twice a day at an empty stomach. After taking a deep breath (in a way that even the clavicular part of shoulder is
raised up while inhalation), the patient should practice keeping the air inside the lungs, forcefully as long as possible, followed by very slow exhalation.
This breathing exercise will increase lung capacity and dead space of the lung (upper lobe) will start functioning gases’ exchange. With this the lungs are
strengthen, oxygen levels in body is increased, fast flow of blood eliminates mucus and dilated bronchus. Keeping air inside the lungs for longer periods
improves digestion thereby providing good digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Inhaled glucocorticoids are the most widely used of the prevention medications and normally come as inhaler devices.
Long-term use of corticosteroids can have many side effects including a redistribution of fat, increased appetite, blood glucose problems and weight gain.
To control bronchitis and asthma some suggestions:
Quit smoking: If you smoke, quit. Bronchitis will ease dramatically and may even be cured within a few years when you quit smoking.
Walk away from people who smoke.
Gargle: Gargle with warm water twice a day. It cleanses the grease off
your throat. When the throat gets an oily film, it gets irritated and makes you hack. Avoid salt in the gargling water
as it’s not asthma-friendly.
Drink hot fluids: Have hot clear soups, hot milk laced with honey and haldi,
hot water through the day. Keep a thermos handy for soothing sips whenever possible.
Use expectorants sparingly: Some expectorants are addictive
- avoid them. Have a safe expectorant only if you have dry cough. If you’re coughing up phlegm, avoid expectorants, stick to hot water.
Walk, don’t run: If jogging makes you cough, walk daily for 30-45 minutes at a speed you can manage. Carry your thermos of hot water with you.
You could also swim as swimming is ideal for asthma. Keep active — play
tennis, cricket, golf.
Fresh and nourished meal: Avoid oily or fatty food and be
selective for fresh and nutritious vegetable food. For example, have only plain steamed rice, salad,
yoghurt, bread, cheese, fruits, cornflakes, digestive biscuits, roast channa, jam, baked beans, pickles etc. You can also have them with warm milk, or try a banana sandwich.
Eat light: Overeating presses on your insides and causes wheezing. Stop when you’re on top
- that is when you are comfortable, not ‘full’ or ‘heavy’. Asthmatics should avoid taking water with meals and should always eat less then
their capacity to make stomach fire stronger and thereby hardly leaving any chance to form phlegm.
Sleep elevated: Sleep with two pillows. Keeping your head slightly elevated prevents stomach reflux.
Sometimes, if the stomach acid drips into your throat, it causes coughing and asthma.
Learn deep breathing: Correct deep breathing regularly. Learn the correct technique from an experienced Yoga teacher. Practicing
yoga-pranayam to permit proper assimilation of food and strengthen lungs, digestive system and circulatory system.
Asthma medication: If you are on asthma medication, you can have it 15 minutes before you exercise.
Lose weight: Lose your excess weight and it will dramatically improve your health and level of confidence. You will lose weight when you follow the lifestyle of an athlete.
No depression: Never allow yourself to be depressed. Be always cheerful and do all the positive things gladly, joyfully.
Herbal medicines: Regular intake of onion juice helps in reliving acute symptoms as it is a strong
anti- inflammatory. The patient’s diet should contain regular use of black pepper powder and garlic. Both of them have mucus moving capacity thereby making breathing easier. Honey
is soothing and beneficial to asthma patients. Use of turmeric powder - half a spoon thrice a day with one full glass of water acts as
anti-infective and anti - inflammatory.
During an attack, mustard oil mixed with little camphor should be massaged over
the back of the chest. This loosens phlegm immediately and eases breathing. Inhaling vapors of caraway seeds (ajwain seeds)
after adding it to boiling water dilates the bronchial passage.
Indians eat live fish to cure asthma
Thousands of asthma patients were queuing in soaring summer temperatures on June 8, 2011 to eat live fish smeared in a masala spice mix to cure their
condition. The treatment which is administered by 200 members of the Goud family in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, southern India, has been criticised as
unscientific while the festival itself is currently under investigation by human rights campaigners. They say the practice is an
abuse of children forced to eat the fish.
The so-called fish medicine festival takes place in the city every
June on an auspicious date selected by astrologers at the onset of the monsoon season.
Several hundred thousand sufferers of asthma and other respiratory conditions line out to be served a live two inch long sardine smeared in
a secret spice mix by 200 members of the Goud family. The family claim the recipe was
received 170 years ago from a Hindu saint who had warned them it would not work if they tried to profit from it.
Use of inhalers
For people suffering from mild asthma (infrequent attacks), the use of inhalers can be need-based
The first World Asthma Day
The first World Asthma Day, in 1998, was celebrated in more than 35
countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain. Participation has increased with each World Asthma Day
held since then, and the day has become one of the world's most important asthma awareness and education events.
The risk factors
The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are
exposure to indoor allergens such as house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture; pollution and pet dander; outdoor allergens such as pollens and moulds; tobacco smoke and chemical
irritants in the workplace. Asthma triggers can include cold air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear, and physical exercise.
'Late' asthma research unearths potential new treatment
Scientists have stumbled on a potential new treatment for delayed asthma
attacks which can occur several hours after exposure to allergens, a study shows.
A team from Imperial College London found that blocking sensory nerve
functions stopped a "late asthmatic response" in mice and rats. Around half of people with asthma experience delayed symptoms.