Ayurveda says that asthma is a doshic disorder of kapha and pitta, disturbed by vata. Asthma has been classified as one of the three main types of respiratory disorders, along with bronchitis and tuberculosis. It is called "anuhla" in Sanskrit which means "stopped-up". The lungs are unable to function well due to this obstruction, causing constricted breathing so that when air passes through passages in the lung there is difficulty in respiration and increased susceptibility to pneumonia.
The asthma attack begins suddenly; usually, it occurs at night while sleeping or early morning hours. Symptoms may not be evident during the daytime but on being exposed to cold weather it becomes aggravated. Symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing are prominent. During the attack, there is a feeling of suffocation and fear. There is excessive loss of vital fluid (tears, perspiration, urine) which gives rise to weakness, thirst, fainting spells with mental tension.
Asthma symptoms usually start after puberty. It can be caused by emotional stress or fear which results in overactivity of the mind due to degraded Vata dosha as well as accumulated toxins in the blood that blocks the respiratory channel and make air passage narrow. However, it may also arise from chronic chest infections, allergenic food reactions such as milk allergy, etc., and genetic factors inherited from parents or ancestors may also bring about asthma.
Ayurveda say that Asthma can be cured in early stage as well as in later stages by proper treatment. The use of herbs, diet therapy and yoga offers most natural cure for asthma.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways (bronchi and bronchioles) in which the symptoms are caused by an over-response of the respiratory system to inhaled, irritating particles such as pollen or dust.
Asthma is characterized by periods of reversible airflow obstruction that can vary from mild to life-threatening and affects approximately 8% of Americans.
A patient with asthma requires medical management for control of their symptoms and reduction in associated risk factors including exacerbations (exacerbation: a sudden worsening of the condition). Most patients with persistent asthma have mild disease requiring little intervention; whereas some require daily medications and periodic preventative treatment in order to remain symptom-free.
Asthma is for most patients, a lifetime chronic illness requiring adequate disease management and possible prophylaxis.
The symptoms of asthma are caused by inflammation of the airways including bronchi and bronchioles which lead to increased mucus production, muscle contraction in the walls of the airway that narrows airflow, and overreaction of chemical mediators (histamine) that constrict blood vessels within the lung tissue which further narrows airflow. These changes result in shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and/or sometimes anxiety or panic.
Moderate asthmatics can usually control their symptoms with oral medications. Severe asthmatics may require daily oral medications and periodic preventative treatments to maintain control of their symptoms.
Asthma can worsen quickly; so, individuals with asthma must be prepared at all times for an emergency situation (e.g., a severe exacerbation). An asthma action plan should include:
• Emotions (e.g., stress and/or anxiety ) – Acute exacerbations of asthma may begin with mild chest discomfort that progresses to wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and possible alarm. The onset is often rapid over minutes - hours. Some patients experience anxiety which triggers an acute breathing difficulty that can be frightening; so if you have asthma it is helpful to understand what is happening during an exacerbation in order to reduce the risk of severe symptoms developing. Usually following a course of oral steroids, your physician will instruct you on the proper use of your inhaled medications.