Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 31, 2022

5 Home Remedies for Asthma Treatments that work effectively

What is asthma?

           Asthma is categorized as a chronic disease of the Upper Respiratory Tract. It is also considered as the most common chronic disease of childhood and becomes one of the main causes of the hospitalization of children. Further refinement of Asthma as a disease categorizes it as a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The pathophysiological processes of asthma involves the inflammation of the airways, which in turn causes the obstruction of the flow of air towards the lungs. This results in an intermittent flow of air that is responsible for the characteristic wheezes that are commonly associated with those who have been diagnosed with asthma. Because of the lack of sufficient airflow to the bronchi, the lungs attempt to compensate for the lack of air with an exacerbated responsiveness that causes the person to breathe faster.

            There are several categorizations of asthma which can vary in severity as asthma can vary from acute, subacute and chronic stages in accordance with the ability of a person to effectively manage environmental triggers and the use of their prescribed bronchodilators to manage the said condition. The prognosis for the control of asthma is also dependent upon the strength and quality of the lungs of a person. Hence, it is expected that a non-smoker would have an easier time in the management of the symptoms of asthma compared to a smoker who happens to be an asthmatic.

What causes an Asthma Attack? 

            There are several allergens and stressors that contribute to the development of an asthma attack or induce the hyper-reaction of the lungs in a person who was diagnosed with asthma. These include: environmental allergens (the more common cause) – which include but are not limited to dust mites, animal dander, roaches, mould and fungi; viral respiratory infections such as the common cold; excessive exercises that causes you to hyperventilate (breathe at a faster rate than usual), gastroesophageal reflux disease, rhinitis and sinusitis; the presence of environmental pollutants and exposure to tobacco smoke; occupational asthma for those who are frequently exposed to sawdust, rubber fumes, latex and insects; emotional stressors that cause you to hyperventilate and exposure to tobacco smoke while in the infancy stage.

            A person can have one or more of these factors that cause them to be more susceptible to an asthma attack, and one of the best means to control asthma is simply to avoid exposures to these causes. If it is inevitable however, such as if exposure to these allergens is an occupational hazard, then it is best to have your inhaler and medication with you at all times for rapid control of the symptoms should they recur.

Symptoms of an Asthma Attack

            From the definition of asthma, we can tell that one of the manifestations of the disease is the narrowing of the airways of the lungs. Because this causes a limited amount of air to enter the lungs, we can now expect that our lungs will emit a characteristic wheezing sound. Wheezing is a high-pitched musical sound that can be heard in patients who are in the midst of an asthma attack, as the lungs attempt to take in more air to compensate for the lack of air that enters the body. It may disappear in more severe asthma attacks as the respiratory muscles have grown tired. Other symptoms of asthma include cough. This cough however, does not produce any phlegm, and is often present during midnight to early morning in children. Aside from this, tightness in the chest is another symptom of an asthma attack.

Home Remedies for Asthma

           Provided that you have the equipment at home, you can save on health care costs on the need to control your asthma symptoms. These are five ways where in you can treat your asthma from the convenience of your own home.

Breathing exercises

           One of the key methods here is the use of proper breathing exercises, and one of the best means to ensure that you are able to effectively control your asthma is the use of pursed-lip breathing. Pursed-lip breathing is a means to control the shortness of breath associated with asthma, and ensures that you are able to maintain an adequate airflow to your lungs. Keep your lips pursed as you breathe through your mouth.

            Another means of breathing exercises is the use of Diaphragmatic Breathing, as this helps reduce the amount of oxygen that your body needs when you have an asthma attack. To do this, place a hand on your chest, and the other hand on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose. You have achieved diaphragmatic breathing if the hand on your stomach rises and falls, rather than the one on your chest. Exhale through your mouth as you keep your chest and shoulders relaxed.

Eucalyptus or Lavender Essential oil

           The use of Eucalyptus and Lavender Essential Oils in diffusers are reported to help relieve the symptoms of asthma. This is due to the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds in the essential oils that cause a reduction in the inflammation of the airways of the lungs once you have inhaled them. This is a complementary therapy however, and should not be the main means by which you control asthma. Before you use any of these essential oils, it is advised that you consult with your physician about potential interactions with medications and the presence of allergies to these oils.

Yoga & Exercising

           Ideally, one of the best exercises that an asthmatic person can do is one that allows them to promote breathing: aerobic exercises. There is the pitfall however, of overexercising which can cause you to hyperventilate. What is key here is now the balance of exercises, and the need to do exercises that are not strenuous at all. Yoga is recommended as a form of exercise due to its benefits. It allows you to improve your overall posture to promote increased lung expansion, and helps exercise your chest muscles which improves your overall capacity to breathe. Because you count when you hold your poses, Yoga has the added benefit to help you control your breathing and reduce the effect of stressors that can induce an asthma attack.

Healthy Diet

           Weight control and a proper diet are among the treatment remedies that form part of asthma control. It was found that persons who are obese and overweight are more prone to asthma attacks than those who have maintained their weight within the normal body mass index range. Hence, a proper diet would do wonders to help reduce incidences of asthma attacks. An additional precaution must be added to avoid foods that you are allergic too as these can induce asthma attacks as well.                   

Inhaled medication devices

            Inhaled medication devices include nebuliser and inhaler and may be used interchangeably in accordance with the severity of your symptoms and the age of the person who will use it. Inhalers are prescribed by physicians and often consist of a mix of bronchodilators with a corticosteroid mixture to promote a reduction of inflammation in the airways and ensure that your airways are sufficiently dilated. The use of inhalers are recommended for those who are able to breathe in properly and have the requisite knowledge to use the device. Inhalers may come in metered dose form to dispense a prescribed amount of medication once it has been pressed by the user.  Nebulisers on the other hand, require the use of nebules that contain bronchodilators. There are two attachments that come with it, either a mask, which is ideal for children, or a mouth piece, through which the user can breathe in the medication through their mouths. There are numerous portable nebulisers available on the market that are suitable for home use.

Create an asthma plan

            Before you develop a treatment plan for asthma, it is best that you consult with your physician to determine the triggers for your asthma attack. This may require some tests, but at the end of it, you will know what situations to avoid to ensure that your asthma does not manifest. When it does however, you will know which medications to use to help you control your asthma, as well as the other steps that were mentioned in this article on how to effectively manage your asthma without the need to leave home (unless it is so severe). Your physician will apprise you of the steps that are needed to be taken so you can control your asthma and not let your asthma control you.

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