Asthma

Asthma and Complementary Medicine

Complementary medicine has long been used alongside drug therapy to support asthma sufferers. Herbal medicine and Acupuncture are most documented in having a positive effect.

Asthma can be debilitating and frightening. If you or your child are one of the many who suffer, please read on for more information, complementary medical advice and tried and tested self-help tips.

Asthma is a common long-term condition that can cause a cough, wheezing, and breathlessness. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person.

What is asthma?

Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. These are the small tubes, called bronchi, which carry air in and out of the lungs. If you have asthma, the bronchi will be inflamed and more sensitive than normal.

When you come into contact with something that irritates your lungs, known as a trigger (see below), your airways become narrow, the muscles around them tighten and there is an increase in the production of sticky mucus (phlegm). This leads to symptoms including:

A severe onset of symptoms is known as an asthma attack or an 'acute asthma exacerbation'. Asthma attacks may require hospital treatment and can sometimes be life-threatening, although this is rare.

If you are diagnosed with asthma as a child, the symptoms may disappear during your teenage years. However, asthma can return in adulthood. Asthma can also begin in Adult years.

What causes asthma?

The cause of asthma is not fully understood, although it is known to run in families. You are more likely to have asthma if one or both of your parents has the condition.

Common triggers

A trigger is anything that irritates the airways and brings on the symptoms of asthma. These differ from person to person and people with asthma may have several triggers.

Common triggers include house dust mites, animal fur, pollen, tobacco smoke, exercise, cold air and chest infections.

Who is Affected?

Tips on Self Help

Activities and Lifestyle Changes To Decrease Asthma Attacks