Seasonal changes can be very exciting for most people. Each season brings with it a new set of colours and nature takes a new turn. However, for people with seasonal allergies, this change comes with a set of allergies. From skin rashes to wheezing to breathing difficulties, the list of symptoms can be quite long. Asthma is the most common problem, and the attacks can be quite bothersome with wheezing attacks and breathing troubles.
With advancements in the field of medicine, there is a lot of relief for asthma patients. A little understanding of how asthma attacks happen will help in understanding how to control it. Asthma is an allergic reaction caused by narrowing of the airway with thick mucus, which makes breathing difficult. During an attack, the person can have a dry cough or face shortness of breath and wheezing.
Asthma is often triggered or worsened by some factors, and being aware of these can help prevent or manage the attack:
Once you know the triggers, here are some common measures that can help prevent and relieve the wheezing.
The preventers reduce the inflammation in the airway tube and the swelling. While they do not provide immediate relief during an attack, using these in the long term helps avoid attacks. These are low-dose inhaled corticosteroids such as beclomethasone, fluticasone, and budesonide. Doctors would advise their usage even when there are no symptoms, as asthma attacks can be triggered when they are not taking these medications for a while. Newer drugs include leukotriene antagonists like montelukast and zafirlukast. Relievers are used for symptom relief and include Salbutamol (short acting) and Salmeterol/Formoterol (long acting). The peak flow meter may be useful in acute attacks, wherein the peak flow rates can be reduced.
A good strategy is to use preventers regularly and rely on relievers during an attack. The first one helps build resistance and so reduces the incidence of attacks. Reach out to a doctor if a severe attack ensues (lasts more than 3 hours).
A discomfort in the chest accompanied by shortness of breath and a tingling sensation in fingers or toes might be a sign of hyperventilation, more commonly known as panic attacks. This is the condition wherein you need more amount of oxygen than normal.
And, you need to be aware of the symptom, especially if you are suffering from COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). With COPD, experiencing symptoms of hyperventilation may turn adverse, and there are enough reasons to know the ways to manage it, which is indeed possible.
Hyperventilating or over-breathing can be accompanied by or can cause various symptoms in people. Apart from the common symptoms described above, some patients may also experience dizziness, palpitations, sweating profusely, wheeze, feelings of suffocation or choking, tinnitus, weakness, etc. Some may also feel highly anxious or tensed. Though very uncommon, still, one may suffer from loss of consciousness as a result of hyperventilating.
Dealing with hyperventilation
Depending on the severity and type of hyperventilation, the available treatment option may vary from person to person. From various home remedies to certain prescribed drugs, treatments are available easily. However, it’s through practising a few techniques on noticing the symptoms that can help one deal with hyperventilation. Some of those useful methods are, breathing through pursed lips, holding the breath for 10 to 15 seconds, trying to take deep breaths into the belly rather than in the chest and breathing slowly into cupped hands or a paper bag. These techniques will help regulate breathing.
In case, the episodes of hyperventilation last for more than 30 minutes, even after trying all the techniques mentioned above, one should not delay in seeking necessary medical attention.
Growing episodes of hyperventilation or over-breathing can leave one feeling breathless. Therefore, when people with COPD notice any symptom of hyperventilation, consulting with pulmonology specialist must be of top priority. Neglecting this particular condition for an extended period may end up causing further complications.
Rising levels of air pollution are always in the news and it is a legitimate cause of concern. It has a severe toxic effect on us, and our environment. Factories are popping up in greater frequency than ever before, trees are being cut down to make room for ever-expanding cities and with every family owning cars, pollution is becoming a crisis that is hard to contend with. According to the World Health Organisation, the chief pollutants are carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and lead, which are all emitted from factories and car through their exhausts.
What is the impact of air pollution on the human body?
• Eye irritation
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Skin diseases
• Neuropsychiatric disorders
The organ that is most affected by air pollution is the lungs. With pollution on the rise, more and more people are complaining of respiratory ailments. WHO has already proved that air pollutants are actually a carcinogen.
What are the symptoms of respiratory ailments?
The most common symptoms are-
Homoeopathy for the treatment of lung diseases-
Homoeopathy is a boon to the field of medicine and has been in practice for several decades now. Homoeopathy believes that lung diseases are a manifestation of an innate problem and if the problem is detected and eradicated, the symptoms will dissipate as well. Homoeopathy cures lung diseases by-
• Preventing further damage to the lungs
• Preventing side-effects from harming the body by adopting a natural and holistic approach
• Reducing reliance on steroids and bronchodilators
There are different types of chronic lung ailments and homoeopathy uses 25 compounds in different combinations to treat each of them. The best part about Homeopathy treatment is that it leaves no adverse effect on your body, unlike conventional methods of treatment.
Surveys reveal that three fourth of India’s population is affected by air pollution. If you feel that you might have contracted a respiratory ailment, consider consulting a homoeopathy doctor.
Lung specialists are able to provide a thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of a number of breathing disorders in children. In addition to asthma, they can help in the management and treatment of conditions such as cystic fibrosis, upper airway obstruction recurrent pneumonia, chronic or recurrent cough, wheezing and sleep disorders. These specialists even known as paediatric pulmonologists can also be consulted in cases breathing and lung diseases in children from birth till the age of 21 years.
When to see a specialist?
You should consider visiting a lung specialist if you observe any of the following signs in your child:
A paediatric lung specialist has the qualifications, training, and experience required to best treat your child. They would require the parent or guardian of the child to fill in a comprehensive questionnaire so as to correctly diagnose, treat and manage the condition. These questions would also form the basis of the medical history of the child.
In order to disease, the specialists may perform tests such as pulmonary function testing and flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy or FFB in a way that is best suited for your child. They will be able to interact and effectively answer any questions that the child would have.
One can consult their paediatrician to recommend or refer you to a suitable pulmonologist.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a allergic manifestation to the fungus Aspergillus sp. Patient with underlying Bronchial Asthma or Cystic Fibrosis are more susceptible to this. The patient may be having severe symptoms of asthma which respond poorly to inhaled medications.
This fungus is very commonly found in the surroundings and is referred to as mold. It is found at various places like soil, water, air and even on decaying matter. This fungus has the characteristic feature of spore formation and these spores are inhaled commonly from the air, without causing any disease or discomfort.
The fungus enters the body and produces colonies by inhabiting the airways. But the presence of Aspergillosis in the lungs does not always indicate an infection. In people with weakened immunity, this fungus enters the lungs and produces an acute infection that spreads along the respiratory tract. An allergic response given by the immune system to the Aspergillus fungi causes the allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
Symptoms of this disease are as follows:
1. Frequent cough
2. Brown colored mucus while coughing
3. Hemoptysis (blood in cough)
4. Difficulty in breathing
5. Wheezing sounds from the chest
6. Lethargy and weakness
7. Tightness of the chest In case of an asthmatic patient, if asthma is in a poorly controlled state, this condition is most likely to develop.
People suffering from asthma can contract ABPA when the medications are unable to control asthma. ABPA can also occur with cystic fibrosis which is a condition that has a genetic basis.
Diagnosis of this condition is difficult. It is usually diagnosed on the basis of the symptoms experienced by the patient. Certain specific tests like lung function tests (spirometry) can be carried out to evaluate the breathing capacity of the lungs.
An evaluation of the levels of the immunoglobulin IgE is also required. In conditions that are related to allergic responses from the immune system, it is observed that the levels of IgE are raised than above normal.
However, in ABPA the levels of the immunoglobulin IgE rise to a very high count. Monitoring of the IgE levels is done regularly during the management of ABPA. Chest x- rays do not help in the diagnosis of this disease. While treating ABPA, the evaluation of the immunoglobulin levels is done regularly. To relieve inflammation corticosteroids can be given.
Treatment of ABPA is Oral corticosteroids and in case of steroid dependence or persistent symptoms consider adding antifungal. Also, to treat the fungal infection, anti-fungal medications are prescribed. Repeated episodes of ABPA require more targeted treatment. Itraconazole is the anti-fungal drug which is effective in treating the fungal infection.
The term pollution means introduction of harmful and unwanted contaminants into our environment. Due to the borderless nature of our atmosphere and oceans, contamination at a small level can have a huge impact that to in places which are nearby and one of the best examples of this is crop stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana which is a major contributor to Delhi smog. Pollution is a slow poison and is deleterious to the life of all beings, including plants, animals, and humans. With the rise in the pollution levels, no one can escape the harmful effects of the same on health. Though pollution poses a great threat to everyone, it is the children who are most effected, let us read on to know the reasons
Why are children more susceptible to pollution?
Understanding the effects of pollution on children’s health
Unfortunately, with urbanization and increased population, the levels of particulate pollutants in the air are increasing at an alarming rate. The problem of pollution needs to be addressed immediately, until then it is best to keep the children indoor and take necessary precautions and keep children safe from exposure to the pollutants.
Adenoids refer to the mass of lymphatic tissue situated at the intersection of the back of the nose and throat. They are a part of the body's immune system and play a noteworthy part in battling infections in kids. Adenoids fight off the microbes and infection that enter the body through the nose. They typically occur in children of five to seven years of age and from that point, they begin to decrease. They vanish when the child gets older. This is the physiological development and relapse of the adenoids. However, permanent adenoids are an issue in view of a number of annoying symptoms they show in a child. The major among these are breathing through the mouth and wheezing because of nasal blockage.
Homeopathic medicines are a very safe option than surgery in kids with extended adenoids. It has been noted that adenoids, when surgically removed, tend to regrow. Homeopathic medicines focus on strengthening the child’s immune system. The cures are as follows: