Asthma: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Preventions and Ayurvedic Treatment

What Is Asthma?

Usually, when you inhale air, it goes through your nose, mouth, throat and finally makes way to your lungs. Lungs are constituted by countless small airways that branch in and branch out to deliver oxygen to the bloodstream. However, a few factors and conditions cause swelling and tightening of airways. Airways are filled with mucous, which constrict the route for air to pass through. The patient finds it hard to breathe and is short of breath temporarily. This condition is known as an Asthma attack, and the disease is known as Asthma.

Types of Asthma

Asthma has various types based on the factor that triggers it. Many things can trigger Asthma leading to varied types of Asthma. Below here, we have listed some common categories of Asthma:

1. Childhood Asthma

Children are most vulnerable to Asthma attacks. It is most common among kids aged 5-14 years. 9.7% of people around the world get Asthma during these years. Then there are kids between 0-4 years, approx. 4.4% of kids get affected by Asthma at such a young age. During this stage, the common triggers include allergens, temperature fluctuations, stress, excitement, exposure to cold air, respiratory infections, air pollutants, etc.

2. Adult-onset Asthma

Adults have a higher tendency to develop Asthma than kids. Many factors can result in Asthma. The common ones include smoking, stress, obesity, respiratory illness, hormonal factors, and exposure to allergens.

3. Occupational Asthma

This is workplace-related Asthma that occurs from long-term exposure to allergens. Anyone sensitive to flour mills, bacteria, dust, farms, pets, zoos, or hospitals may develop Asthma while working close to any of these. The risk runs higher with people who work around smoke, woodwork, car repairs, hairdressing salons, have allergic rhinitis, or have a medical history of environmental allergies.

4. Bronchial Asthma

A typical type of asthma that causes constant wheezing and coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath that keeps the patient awake all night.

5. Severe Asthma

Approx. 5-10% of the population suffers from severe, hard-to-control Asthma. Some people have severe asthma that doesn’t relate to typical causes. Severe refractory Asthma, for example, hardly responds to standard treatment. Similarly, eosinophilic Asthma doesn’t react to regular inhalers or medications. Its patients need specific therapies that work on the blood cells causing an allergic reaction to an Asthma trigger.

6. Seasonal Asthma

This kind of Asthma occurs only at a specific time of year. Cold air, pollens, or winters are the common causes of seasonal Asthma.

7. Allergic Asthma

Sometimes, Asthma is triggered by allergens like pollens, cold air, specific food items, animals, and dust. It is categorized as allergic Asthma.

8. Non-allergic Asthma

Certain non-allergic factors like occupational hazards, medical history, and diseases also result in Asthma attacks.

Symptoms of Asthma

An asthma diagnosis is not a simple task. Sometimes, the patient might be living without any signs of Asthma for years. However, there are some symptoms of Asthma that can be diagnosed with some close inspection.

  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Allergies
  • Common Cold
  • Constant feeling of tiredness
  • Laboured breathing
  • Sleep problem
  • Tightness in chest
  • Pale face
  • Poor appetite
  • Chronic cough
  • A feeling of panic or anxiety

Causes of Asthma

Ayurveda enlists the following as primary causes of Asthma:

  • Regular intake of fatty, dry, cold, indigestible, and incompatible food
  • Overexertion through exercise, physical or sexual activity
  • Exposure to wind, smoke, and dust
  • Excessive intake of seafood, sesame, beans, and black gram
  • Suppression of natural urges for long
  • Coldwater intake and sudden exposure to extremely cold air
  • Pollens, animals, and specific food items that cause an allergic reaction in some people
  • Long working hours in unsuitable surroundings
  • Over-exposure to polluted environments.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Asthma

Ayurveda states Kapha and Vata doshas as the primary cause of Asthma. Kapha is mucous that chokes the airway passages in the respiratory system. It causes Vata dosha, which in this case is a disturbance in the flow of air. Therefore, the Ayurvedic treatment for Asthma removes the root cause of obstruction and strengthening of airway muscles.

The course of Ayurvedic treatment here works on three fronts: medicinal, physical, and spiritual. The medicinal or therapeutic part of treatment includes the administration of various organic herbs that relieve the symptoms. The most commonly used medicines are:

Honey and Cloves: A mixture of (7-8) cloves and bananas need to be kept overnight and taken the next morning.  After an hour, the patient needs to consume honey with some hot water. The remedy strengthens the lungs and relieves symptoms of chronic bronchial Asthma.

Nightshade: 7-14ml juice of Nightshade fruit or plants can be consumed twice a day to ease Asthma symptoms.

Herbal Tea: A blend of pepper, ajwain, ginger, and Tulsi can be highly beneficial for Asthma patients.

Panchakarma: A detoxification process that uses herbs, oils, medicated ghee, milk, and Ayurvedic medicines in five stages. It is an effective Asthma cure for most patients.

Curcumin: Curcumin or Haldi is full of antioxidants and pharmacological components that reduce inflammation of the airways. It is an essential herb in the treatment of Asthma.

The physical part of treatment focuses on improving the lifestyle of the patient. It is vital for preventing the recurrence of Asthma. The patient must follow a specified diet and lifestyle changes that strengthen the overall immunity and fight the disease.

The last part is the spiritual part. In this part, the patient learns the importance of self-discipline and control in fighting off diseases. We are all inclined to adopt unhealthy routines and eating habits quickly. It is not easy to follow a simple diet and regular exercise for better health. Thus, the last part of treatment helps in personal growth and allows a person to effectively manage his/her health.

Prevention of asthma

Prevention is the most effective natural cure for Asthma. Some simple do’s and don’ts can help in Asthma attack prevention.

The Do’s

  • The patient’s diet must include Patola (snake gourd), godhuma (wheat), Kulattha (Horse gram), old rice, and Mudga (green gram).
  • There should be regular use of black pepper, ginger, turmeric, and use of garlic.
  • A mandatory practice of respiratory exercises like yoga and pranayama
  • Regular consumption of honey, goat milk, and lukewarm water in optimum quantity

The Don’ts:

  • Excessive physical exertion.
  • Prolonged suppression of natural urges.
  • Curd, stored food items, chilled water, and sweets.
  • Deep-fried items, mustard leaves, fish, black gram, cold food, and fatty food
  • Exposure to pollens, pollutants, fumes, dust, and smoke

Hope you find this post informative about Asthma. For more information stay tuned with Prakash Nethralaya.