What Is Bronchial Asthma?

Bronchial AsthmaBronchial asthma is a chronic disease which can be characterized by narrowing and inflammation of the airways that carry air to the patient’s lungs. In a great deal of cases, this diseases starts in childhood, but also it can start in people of all ages. Despite numerous opportunities to use modern treatment technologies and early diagnosis, there’s still no cure for this common disease.

Lately, the number of people affected by this diseases has been increasing. According to the information by the experts at WebMD, in 2001 every one of 14 Americans suffered from bronchial asthma, and in the year 2009 every one in 12 was affected by this disease. It is estimated by the scientists at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that over 22 millions of today’s Americans know an answer to the question what is bronchial asthma from their own experience as they have to combat its symptoms on a regular basis.

Signs and Symptoms of Bronchial Asthma

In order to better understand what is bronchial asthma, it can be good to learn more about the signs and symptoms of the disease. The most common ones are characteristic tightness in chest and shortness of breath, which in some cases can cause troubles when sleeping, as well as characteristic wheezing sounds coming out when breathing out. Some patients can experience difficulties when breathing, or breathing with heavy coughing. If you think that you may be experiencing the mentioned symptoms of bronchial asthma, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.

Studies And Risk Factors For Bronchial Asthma

There was a great deal of studies carried out to find out more about the risk factors for bronchial asthma. Two very recent ones published in the European Respiratory Journal in March 2012 and in Pediatric Allergies And Immunology in February 2012, suggest that increased levels of obesity in children should be taken as one of the major risk factors for bronchial asthma development. In September 2011, a group of the experts at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology published their findings about the strong connections between excessive amounts of belly fat and bronchial asthma. According to the experts of Mayo Clinic, other risk factors for asthma include having allergic conditions, smoking and being exposed to second-hand smoke, being exposed to heavy types of pollution, as well as having a family history of bronchial asthma.

Management Of The Disease

What Is Bronchial AsthmaAs it was stated above, there is currently no cure for bronchial asthma, therefore, the management of the disease is directed on minimizing side effects, controlling the symptoms, achieving the best possible function of lungs and avoiding complications. Some people use drug treatment, some use exercise and stress management techniques, and some use various alternative approaches and herbal remedies for asthma.

There are three groups of medications that can be offered to bronchial asthma patients:

  • Rescue (quick relief) medications: oral corticosteroids, intravenous corticosteroids, ipratropium and other inhaled medications, short-acting beta agonists, and others.
  • Symptom control (ling term) medications: long-acting beta agonists, beclomethasone, budesonide, flunisolide, mometasone, or other inhaled corticosteroids, zafirlukast and other leukotriene modifiers, bronchodilators, and so on.
  • Medications for allergy-induced bronchial asthma: immunotherapy and allergy shots, omalizumab, etc.

There are also a series of necessary precautions should be observed and lifestyle modification should be done in order to prevent sudden outbursts of the disease. In particular, it is necessary to conditioner indoor air and keep it clean (special air conditioning systems can be used), control indoor air humidity, minimize the effects of possible allergens (pet fur, dust, flowers, and others), maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, etc.

Herbal Remedies For Asthma

Herbal Remedies For AsthmaMedicinal herbs and plants have been used for centuries to relieve the symptoms of bronchial asthma and prevent worsening of asthma symptoms. It is generally reported that there is a certain lack of scientific studies and researches on the matter, some herbal remedies like ginkgo biloba, butter bur, licorice root, dried ivy, cinnamon bark, gordenia, and others, can be used as a part of natural treatment for bronchial asthma symptoms.

Earlier this month, the findings of Japanese experts were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. A group of experts at the Yoshiteru Shimoide Clinic of Internal Medicine have reported that using compositions of the traditional Chinese herbs known as kampo herbs which they tested as potentially effective herbal remedies for asthma has shown positive effects in 94 per cent of 226 participants of the study. Other ancient Chinese, Japanese or Indian herbal remedies for asthma, including Sophora flavescens or Radix glycyrrhizae were reported to show promising effects if used in the framework of an individual asthma action plan.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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