Asthma can come in all shapes and sizes. Scroll below to learn what asthma is and how you can improve your lungs in order to ward off attacks.
What is Asthma?
So what exactly does asthma do? Why does it affect some people so strongly? Asthma is a long-term inflammatory disease that narrows the bronchial airways. Because of this, people with asthma tend to be especially sensitive to allergens in the air (such as pollution and animal dander).
Asthma tends to be reoccurring and can cause coughing, shortness of breath, a tight feeling in your chest, and wheezing. While all of these symptoms are usually mild enough to go away on their own, some people do require medical intervention to prevent the worse from happening.
While some people tend to write asthma off as an annoyance, it can be a very serious disease if left untreated. Some people experience very strong, serious attacks, and are at risk of death if they don’t seek medical treatment immediately during their asthma attack.
New Research for Treating Asthma
Later in 2015, a groundbreaking revelation was brought to light by a British study. Cardiff University led a study that found that the calcium-sensing receptor (shortened to CaSR), plays one of the biggest roles in causing asthma.
Using a combination of mice and tissue from both asthmatic and non-asthmatic people, they were able to substantiate their findings.
This allowed them to then combine the calcium-sensing receptor with a pre-existing class of drugs called ‘calcilytics’, which reversed the symptoms completely.
Yet another amazing discovery was made by researchers at the University of Leicester, who were able to develop a new pill for asthma treatment. It’s the first new pill in 20 years, and it is very promising.
Professor Chris Brightling says that the pill – called ‘Fevipiprant’ – is a “game changer for the future treatment of asthma’. This is because Fevipiprant not only reduced the symptoms of asthma and inflammation but also repaired airway linings and improved the function of lungs.
In late 2016, the Cleveland Clinic researchers made an incredible breakthrough in treatments for asthma. They took an existing drug, meant for treating high blood pressure in the lungs, and tested it on asthmatic mice. The results were incredible. The researchers found that the treatment opened up airways and restored normal breathing.
Why is all of this such an exciting relief for asthma sufferers? Because traditional ‘bronchodilator therapies’ that are used to treat asthma are ineffective for up to 40% of people who suffer from it.
While all of that is great news, you might be looking for something a little more immediately accessible. Or maybe you just prefer a more natural edge.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of home remedies that can help with asthma.
– Pomegranate Kick. By mixing equal parts pomegranate, ginger, and honey in a juicer and drinking it 2 or 3 times a day, you can find very effective results in combating your asthma. Also, it tastes fantastic!
– Rehydrated Figs. Simply soak a handful of dried figs in water overnight. Eat them in the morning on an empty stomach, and drink the water for good measure.
– Mustard and Camphor. Mix mustard oil with camphor, warm the concoction and rub it on your chest for quick relief from asthma symptoms.
– Clove Tea. Boiling 5 or 6 cloves in a small amount of water (about a cup) and adding a dollop of honey is a terrific remedy for asthma. Just drink it twice a day for noticeable differences.
– Fennel. Eating these delicious seeds on a regular basis will help to get rid of your asthma attacks.
There is a nearly endless list of home remedies that really work to help fight the symptoms of asthma, as well as stop asthma attacks in their tracks.
Do some looking around to find remedies that sound good to you, and as always, talk to your doctor before making any huge changes to your medications.
Ways to Improve Breathing
As with the home remedies, there are several ways to improve your breathing. While they won’t all be listed here, we’ve compiled a small list of easy-to-do techniques that you can start right away.
– Splash your face with cold water. Make sure that the water is cold, not icy. By splashing cold water on your face while you’re holding your breath, you slow your heart rate, allowing you to hold your breath longer. This is an important first step in increasing your lung capacity and allowing you to improve your breathing.
– Breathing exercises. You can find a whole host of different kinds, from beginner to expert. All of them are helpful, don’t require special equipment, and will help you build up your lung capacity quickly.
– The Buteyko Breathing Method is considered, even by clinical research centers, to be very effective both against asthma attacks as well as in building up your lung capacity. To do this, sit upright in a comfortable chair.
- Focus on relaxation, and relaxing your stomach and chest muscles.
- Slightly tilt your head upward, and close your eyes.
- Slowly, shallowly, and gently breathe through your nose. Be sure to keep your mouth closed.
- Exhale as slowly as you can until you feel that your lungs are completely empty.
- Hold your breath as long as you can, then repeat the process from the beginning.
Though treatments vary depending on your age and the severity of your symptoms, typically popular treatments for asthma include:
–Inhaled corticosteroids. Though this type of treatment can take several days, possibly even weeks, before you feel their full effects, they are often considered much more safe than their oral counterparts. They have a lower risk of side effects and are generally considered safe for a more long-term usage.
– Leukotriene modifiers. These non-corticosteroid oral medications will grant you relief from your asthma symptoms for upwards of 24 hours. Though it gives daily relief, in rare cases they have been linked to unwanted side effects, including hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and depression, aggression, and general agitation.
– Allergy medications. Simple, over the counter allergy medications are popular amongst asthma sufferers whose symptoms are triggered by or worsen with allergies.
There is a wide array of popular treatments for asthma, and new research is still being done to come up with even more efficient and effective ways to battle the symptoms. Talk to your doctor about what sort of medications would be helpful to you.
While there may not be a cure for asthma yet, the treatments are getting better all the time. There are also tons of non-medical options, such as doing simple yoga and taking herbal supplements.
There’s no way to cover everything you can do to minimize your asthma in just one article, so we encourage you to continue to look around to see all the options you have. There are plenty out there!