Asthma is a disease of the airways or bronchial tubes that causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes thereby, restricting airflow in and out of the body.
The airways in our body are lined by muscles that contain mucus. In normal non-asthmatic people, these airways are relaxed and in asthmatic patients, they are sensitive, inflamed, and constricted as a result of an allergy or trigger.
When the airways come across a trigger, the muscles of the bronchi react by tightening or contracting more, and its lining swells and becomes filled with mucus. This reaction makes breathing very difficult hence the wheezing commonly associated with asthma patients and it is known as an asthma attack.
Asthma is not contagious but it is believed that genetics and environmental factors contribute to developing this condition. There is no widely known cure for asthma hence why proper management is key to living with asthma.
The symptoms of asthma are most obvious during an asthma attack otherwise, asthma patients are just like other people in the community. The symptoms include:
- Wheezing – a whistling sound when breathing or when trying to breathe
- Breathlessness and breathing difficulties
- A tight chest – it feels like a band is tightening around the chest
It is important that asthma is properly diagnosed as there are other breathing-related conditions that have similar symptoms.
The correct diagnosis will lessen the burden in half then, you can just go about designing how to manage the symptoms and prevent an asthma attack as much as possible.
It is known that an asthma attack occurs as a result of an allergic reaction to a trigger that causes inflammation of the air passages. This makes the airways of the asthmatic patient very sensitive and they temporarily narrow therefore, making breathing difficult.
A trigger is anything that irritates your airways leading to an asthma attack. Triggers are largely classified into
- Allergic triggers i.e. these are substances known to cause allergies in people such as mould, mites, dust etc.
- non-allergic triggers i.e. they are mostly irritants such as cold air, air pollutants, intense emotions, tasking exercises etc.
There is yet to be a known definite cause of asthmatic allergic reaction however, some factors increase one’s chances of developing this condition. They include
- Premature birth
- Family history and genetics
- Allergies – some studies indicate that those with allergiers are more likely to develop asthma however not everyone who has asthma will be affected by allergies and not everyone with allergies will develop asthma. It simply increases the chances of developing asthma later in life
- Environmental pollution or the air quality you breathe. Etc.
Identifying and eliminating/minimizing contact with allergens is one of the most important steps to preventing and managing asthma.
This can be done in many ways such as being observant and keeping a journal of your routine to investigate your asthma trigger. Doing this successfully can reduce the frequency of your asthma attacks by at least 50%.
Other tips on managing asthma include:
- Learn some breathing exercises
- Maintaining a healthy weight as being overweight can worsen symptoms
- Reducing stress as much as possible and emotionally triggering events
- Clearing your home of any known asthma trigger
- Let those around you know what to do or how to help you when you are experiencing an attack
Consequence of poor asthma management
The poor management of asthma can result in some complications and very unpleasant situations some of which you have probably experienced. They include:
- Constant tiredness or fatigue
- Delays in growth or puberty in children
- Stress, anxiety etc.
- Lung infections (e.g. pneumonia)
- Underperformance or absence from work, school, etc.
- Constant disruption of your life and daily plans
How long does asthma lasts
Asthma is mostly a life-long condition for those that developed their allergies in adulthood. As for those that had begun their asthma attacks as children, it tends to subside significantly once one reached the ages of teenagehood and adulthood.
With good asthma management skills, you can live a healthy and active life without being burdened with constant worry and asthma attacks.
This is the purpose of writing this blog post so read on to the remedies that keep asthma in check
Inhalers – small devices that allow breathing medicines into the body – are the known companions of asthma patients. They are used during an asthma attack to open the airways and beyond and for everyday use to prevent the symptoms from occurring.
Constantly taking pharmaceutical drugs as we know can seriously erode our health which can will, in turn, worsen the asthma. The following are natural and safe remedies that are often used by asthmatic patients in managing their symptoms successfully.
This is one of the most prominent natural remedies for combatting asthma attacks. The eucalyptus oil is commonly used not just for asthma but also other ailments that are characterized by blocking of the airways or breathing difficulties.
Eucalyptus oil is an anti-inflammatory and decongestant that clears the airways fast. It is advised that to get the best quality of this essential oil you can find to give you maximum benefits and to prevent possible reactions from impurities
How to use (Normally):
- Keep it around you in your bag, office, room or where ever and whenever you start to feel some discomfort, open the bottle and inhale the oil like an inhaler.
- You can also dab some of the oil on a clean cloth or towel and them place it on your nose/mouth and take a deep breath.
- If using the essential oil, you will need to dilute it first
For steam inhalation:
You should use this method when your breathing is becoming difficult when your airways are closed. This quick remedy is guaranteed to open your airways fast
How to use:
- Boil about a liter of water or just sufficient water in a kettle fast
- As you are waiting for it to boil, prepare a place to sit comfortably and get a big towel or blanket and the eucalyptus oil
- Once it boils, don’t open it and quickly carry it to your sitting area. We need the water to be as hot as possible
- Have a seat and pour it into a bowl
- Quickly add about 3-5 drops of the eucalyptus oil
- Cover the asthmatic patient with the blanket completely without allowing any pace for the steam to escape while they are bent over the steaming bowl of water and essential oil
- Sit in this position with the steam in your face without opening the blanket for as long as you can or until the water cools down and you will regain you breathing by then.
That is it. Well done!
Garlic and ginger
Garlic is here again. Garlic and ginger are very good for asthma patients and the other ailments that affect the chest such as bronchitis, pneumonia, common cold, etc.
As we know, they are highly anti-inflammatory foods and herbs as well as, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial. So they not only reduce the inflammation but also boost immunity and disinfect the airways.
Using these two remedies alone can significantly reduce the frequency of an asthma attack. You can add them to your teas with honey, soups, swallow chopped pieces of garlic not more than a single piece at a time, chew some ginger, etc.
Just include them in your diet and daily routine however you feel most comfortable.
Unless you have a stomach ulcer, the above two oils –garlic and ginger- should always be available and within your reach where ever you are.
You can use the garlic and ginger raw or just their oil whenever you start to feel the signs of an asthma attack as they combat the inflammation causing the airways to be blocked. Taking a spoon of the oils during your day does help a lot.
How to use:
- You can use them raw by chewing, swallowing or adding them to teas.
- Alternatively, you can take the oil as a supplement. It will be best to take these oils with a spoon and not as a capsule. This is because the oil needs to coat the airways for it to work properly.
- Take a teaspoon twice a day in the morning and evening. Do not take more than a tablespoon total in a day and not more than a teaspoon of the oil at once
- Preferably, take it adter you have finished eating or when you will not be eating anything or atleast 30 minutes for best results
Asthma can be different for everyone. For some, their condition is severe and often affects their daily life. For others, with proper management and caution, they are able to live well with little to no symptoms at all.
I believe combining these suggested remedies with good management of your habits and lifestyle, you can live a healthy and active life despite your asthma condition. You can read more on asthma conditions here if you are interested.
Asthma is one of the health conditions that I strongly recommend that you use as many natural remedies as possible before using any pharmaceutical drugs.
This is because the constant and continuous use of these drugs will have a significant negative impact on our health. I wish you the best.
If you have any comments or thoughts, let me know in the comment section below. I love hearing from my readers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this till the end. Until we meet next time.
Bye for now.