Does the Treatment of Asthma Always Require an Inhaler?
There are effective solutions beyond the asthma inhaler.
Asthma is considered a common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narrow the airways. Asthma is indiscriminant of any age group. It is a long term disease that has no cure but can be controlled by following the right dosage of medication, prescribed by a doctor or specialist. Symptoms may start innocuously as a light cough. But that cough can quickly develop into a painful wheeze, and an inability to breathe properly, causing you to gasp for air. The pain is similar to that of an invisible band constricting the chest, and making it difficult to exhale properly. Ignoring these symptoms can be potentially dangerous, since these may be early indicators that a more severe attack could take place in the near future. A constant fear of those suffering with asthma is the day that their inhaler may run out of doses, or they might forget to bring it altogether. Many who suffer from asthma wonder if there is life beyond their inhaler.
Assess the danger level using a peak-flow meter
Purchase a peak-flow meter as soon as possible. It’s a handy device that measures how powerfully you can exhale. Over a one-week period, mark your best reading when you are free of asthma attacks. Use this reading as a benchmark. Then take a fresh reading when you suffer an attack. If you are deviating around 25 percent above your optimum reading, you can try the following guide. If the deviation is more it could indicate a serious problem and should be assessed at the emergency room immediately. During an asthma attack the muscles tighten around airways, reducing the gap through which the air needs to flow. The problem gets compounded by excessive mucus secretion. If by any chance you develop or witness any of these symptoms, and want to aid the situation, ensure that you first calm down and follow the tips listed below.
Get away from the allergen source
In the majority of cases, asthma follows a pattern triggered by certain allergens. It could be cold air, dust, pets, molds, a food ingredient, or something else you could be unaware of. Cup your nose and mouth with a tissue or use the sleeve of your shirt, placing a barrier between your lungs and the allergen in question. Drop whatever you’re doing and move away from the area that is inducing your allergenic discomfort. This gives your body the precious time needed to cope with the emergency at hand. Never forget to carry your asthma pump with you. In these cases, only an asthma pump can give the immediate relief needed from the attack.
Share your anxiety with someone
The more you let stress get the better of you, the worse your condition can become. The best solution is to seek help from the friends and loved ones around you. Sharing your thoughts about your condition with those around you can be very helpful. Simply explain your condition and what concerns you may have about it. Talking can also relieve anxiety and divert your attention while under physical distress. Besides, if the attack resurfaces you may need assistance in reaching the nearest hospital. If you have emergency medication written down on a slip of paper in your breast pocket or purse (as you should), hand it over to a friend or colleague so they can source the meds over the counter. A drug that is a combination of decongestant and expectorant would thin the mucus, allowing you to cough out the excess fluid, and clear the air passages.
A cup of hot steaming coffee guarantees relief
Not many people know that caffeine has a useful side effect ideal for asthmatics. One of the byproducts of caffeine breakdown is theophylline. Theophylline is widely used to counteract symptoms of lung congestion in COPD and asthma. Basically, the drug relaxes the muscles tightening the airways and liquefies phlegm, thereby resolving two of the most irritating symptoms of asthma. Caffeine sourced through supplements or sodas will do the job just as effectively. But always make it a point to have just the right amount of coffee. Never opt for having a few extra cups of coffee as that may trigger asthma by causing hypertension.
Be conscious of breathing and control its rhythm
Harsh rasping breath coupled with anxiety can only make matters worse. The best option is to purse your lips tightly and breathe in through the nose, drawing longer breaths and counting steadily from four to six. The idea is to get as much oxygen into the lungs as possible. Spare a couple of hours daily to focus on some healthy breathing exercises. Deeper breaths help you stretch the airways to the maximum limit.
Release lung pressure through acupressure
Acupressure is known for giving an outlet to the body’s pain and stress. It helps in identifying many pressure points for the lungs. Try gently pressing the front portion of the shoulder just above the armpits, and the outer crease of your elbows. This can decongest and relieve lung distress.
Pranayama or breath control through Yoga
Doctors always advise asthma patients to strictly follow their medications and therapies. One of the best methods to controlling asthma naturally is by practicing an early morning yoga session. Not only will this help in absorbing the maximum amount of oxygen possible, but it will also strengthen the lungs and relax the body and mind. The yoga technique of deep breathing, assisted by meditation, can do wonders for the lungs. Clinical studies have proven that asthma sufferers who practiced yoga and meditation reduced incidents of breathlessness, and recovered optimal oxygen intake and carbon dioxide waste exhalation.
In conclusion, it is entirely untrue that asthma can only be treated using inhalers. While asthma is a long-term condition that is incurable, it does not mean that it’s impossible to control. Controlling and managing asthma does not always require an inhaler, it can be treated in a variety of ways. Including both meditation, and medication.