Asthma

asthmaDefinition

Asthma  is a Common Chronic, Recurrent, Reversible inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by  airflow obstruction and broncho-spasm.

The chronic inflammation is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness that leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing particularly at night or in the early morning wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Signs and symptoms

Asthma is characterized by:

  • Recurrent episodes of wheezing,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Chest tightness, and
  • Coughing.
  • Sputum may be produced from the lung by coughing but is often hard to bring up. Symptoms are usually worse at night and in the early morning or in response to exercise or cold air.

 Associated conditions

  • Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease(GERD)
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea.

Psychological disorders are also more common with anxiety disorders occurring in between 16–52% and mood disorders in 14–41%. However, it is not known if asthma causes psychological problems or if psychological problems lead to asthma.

Causes:-

  • Environmental: Including allergens, air pollution, and other environmental chemicals. Smoking during pregnancy. Common indoor allergens include: dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, and certain viral respiratory infections, such as rhinovirus.
  • Hygiene: Hygiene can play important role in occurrence of Asthmatic attacks.
  • Genetic: – Genetic determinants are considered as the most important factors in causing Asthma. Hence in Genetic Medical conditions Homoeopathic treatment is most necessary to cure asthma.
  •  Medical Conditions–Triad of Atopic eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma is called Atopy. Individuals with urticaria, obesity also have increased risk  of asthma
  • Drugs: – Beta-blockers, such as propranolol, atenolol can trigger asthma in those who are susceptible. Other medications that can cause problems in same are ASA, NSAIDs , and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Domestic Triggers – Home factors that can lead to exacerbation of asthma include dust, animal dander(especially cat and dog hair), cockroach allergens and mold. Perfumes are a common cause of acute attacks in women and children

Types of Asthma

  • Cough-Variant Asthma
  • Allergic Asthma
  • Occupational Asthma (Work-Related Asthma)
  • Nocturnal Asthma (Night time Asthma)

 Patho physiology Air is normally taken into the body through the nose and wind pipe and into the bronchial tubes. At the end of the tubes are tiny air sacs called alveoli that deliver fresh air (oxygen) to the blood. The air sacs also collect stale air (carbon dioxide), which is exhaled out of the body. During normal breathing, the bands of muscle surrounding the airways are relaxed and air moves freely. But during an asthma episode or “attack,” there are three main changes that stop air moving freely into the airways:

  • The bands of muscle that surround the airways tighten, causing them to narrow in what is called “bronchospasm.”
  • The lining of the airways becomes swollen, or inflamed.
  • The cells that line the airways produce more mucus, which is thicker than normal

The narrowed airway makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. As a result, people with asthma feel they cannot get enough air. All of these changes make breathing difficult. 

Diagnosis

Clinical diagnosis by Physician is most  Important.  Spirometry  and Pulmonary Function Test will help to diagnose and quantify the illness.

Spirometry is recommended to aid in diagnosis and management. It is the single best test for asthma.

  • Skin Prick Test: The skin prick test is the most common allergy skin test.
  • Intradermal Test: If your skin prick test was negative, your doctor may try an intradermal test. Doctors usually don’t use this type of allergy test with food or latex allergies.

Differential diagnosis:-

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Sinusitis

Prevention:-

The evidence for the effectiveness of measures to prevent the development of asthma is weak. Some show promise including: limiting smoke exposure, breastfeeding, and increased exposure to Tobacco. Smoking bans are effective in decreasing exacerbations of asthma.

Management:-

While there is no cure for asthma in conventional treatment, but symptoms can typically be improved and controlled. The most effective treatment for asthma is identifying triggers, such as cigarette smoke, pets, or aspirin, and eliminating exposure to them.

Broncho-dilators are recommended for short-term relief of symptoms. Inhaled corticosteroids are the final treatment option for control of Asthma.

MOST PROMISING TREATMENT OF ASTHMA is available in HOMOEOPATHY. It treats disease from its roots and genetic predisposition and can cure it completely so that there is no need for any medication in future.

Lifestyle modification

Avoidance of triggers is a key component of improving control and preventing attacks. Those cured by Homoeopathy may not need to avoid allergens or need not take any precautions