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Asthma: Eased Breathing

Living a life with asthma has its challenges. For starters, you’re constantly cautious about your whereabouts. Certain triggers can send you into having an asthma attack. You have to make sure you don’t overexert yourself too much doing physical activities. Lastly, you have to make sure you have a form of treatment on you at all times. While asthma has limitations, there are certain aides that can help and even ease symptoms! One of them is salt therapy. Salt therapy is an all-natural treatment that specifically targets certain conditions like asthma.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in the lungs. The airways are a very crucial part of your lungs. They carry air in and out. Due to asthma, they become inflamed and narrowed. In turn, it leads to troublesome and painful breathing. Asthma affects people of all ages, but typically starts during childhood. There are many causes to asthma. Some can stem from allergies while others come from environmental factors. Furthermore, you’re more at risk if asthma runs in your family.

People with asthma usually have obvious symptoms. Shortness of breath, chest tightness and lots of coughing are all symptoms of asthma. These symptoms develop by what’s called triggers. Triggers are substances that irritate the individual. Also, they vary by the person. Some common examples are dust mites, pets, smoke and even exercise. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t lead a productive life. Many people with asthma still lead a fulfilling life, including participating in sports and activities. If you work with a healthcare provider, you can learn many things. You’ll learn to manage your symptoms. Furthermore, you can also learn your triggers to prevent attacks. By being able to identify your own triggers, you’re putting yourself in a safer position.

Allergy-Hay-Fever-Allergic-Rhinitis-Asthma
Effects of allergies and asthma

Treatment Options

Typically, when diagnosed with asthma you’re provided an inhaler. The inhaler provides instantaneous relief. You breathe the medication through the airways. Thus, the muscles with relax and won’t tighten around the  airways when an attack is happening. The inhaler is typically used for spontaneous attacks. For long term options, there are medications available to help decrease the number of attacks happening. Furthermore, if you experience asthma because of allergies, immunotherapy can be a great option. Immunotherapy is usually done as a series of shots. Thus, it’ll reduce your immune system’s reaction to specific allergens.

Shots are given very gradually. First, you get one every few months. Once the immune system is more desensitized to the allergen you get a shot once a month. This is done in a period of three to five years.  In cases of severe asthma, sometimes medications don’t work. A last resort option would be a bronchial thermoplasty. Basically, the insides of your airways are heated with an electrode. The heat will reduce the smooth muscle. In turn, the airways won’t be able to tighten. This will result in easier breathing and fewer attacks. One treatment that doesn’t get enough attention is salt therapy.

Asthma and Salt Therapy

Salt therapy is a natural and non-invasive treatment that targets respiratory conditions. It’s a very straightforward treatment. Salt particles are released into the air. These particles are invisible to the eye. They’ll travel deep into the lungs. Once in, salt attracts water to the lining of the airways. Any debris or unwanted allergens will clear out. Furthermore, salt acts as an anti-inflammatory. It’ll lower the swelling of the airways. More air will be able to enter the airways, ensuring more oxygen reaches the lungs and easier breathing will occur.

Something else to consider is that salt also boosts the immune system. Salt kills numerous pathogens, like bacteria and viruses. Therefore, less asthma attacks will occur! Furthermore, you can even combine salt therapy with whatever treatment you’re taking. Salt therapy won’t impact any medication taken as it has no side effects.

Starting this process is incredibly easy! For one, you could always visit a salt spa. This is typically a quiet room where you can listen to music or read a book. Or you can buy a salt machine and do it in your own home whenever you feel like it. There’s no right or wrong way to do salt therapy. So long as you’re in the room inhaling salt you’re on the right track. Ideally, the more you can do salt therapy the better. There’s no such thing as too much. It is like being at seashore and breathing the salt aerosol. This easy and family-friendly treatment is good for everyone! Even infants and the elderly can try it out! Try salt therapy today and see your asthma attacks subside!

 

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Understanding Respiratory Allergies – Diagnose and Treatment

How are Allergies Diagnosed?

A respiratory allergy can start with a common stuffy nose and eventually progress in time to coughing and difficult breathing.

When visiting a doctor, you will get a series of questions to identify the cause. You would be asked about your exposure and reaction to different allergens, personal and family full medical history to identify allergies that may run in your family and exclude other disorders with similar symptoms.  The doctor may ask you to pay close attention for a period of time to possible allergenic factors and reactions.

The doctor will choose a testing method, most common an allergic skin test. This is done on allergenic groups, such as : food allergies, insect sting, dust/mites, moulds-family, common drugs (penicillin-family antibiotics, etc).  A small amount of allergenic substance is scratched on the skin, and after half an hour the doctor looks for a reaction – swelling, itchiness and redness at the site of scratch. That indicates an allergic reaction to the specific allergen scratched on the skin. The doctor may also ask for blood test to look for specific blood markers, such as IgE antibodies associated with allergic reaction.

Before the skin test, the doctor may measure the lung functions and repeat this after inhaling an anti-inflammatory drug, to determine the presence of an inflammatory reaction in the respiratory system.

allergy

What are the Treatments for Allergies?

The most effective treatment for allergies is to avoid the allergenic triggers. This can be difficult sometimes because some of them cannot be avoided (such as outside mould found all year around in the air) or are not clearly identified.

The most common medications for allergies are antihistamines which block the body overreaction to allergens. In severe allergic reactions, anti-inflammatory steroids are usually prescribed and in emergency situations, epinephrine injections (epi-pen) are used to bring quick relief and restore normal breathing.

allergic reaction

The allergic reactions can manifest as skin allergies, respiratory allergies or even other body general symptoms, such as diarrhea, headaches, etc.

Skin allergies are known as atopic dermatitis (eczema) and contact dermatitis.  They are treated usually topical, with hydro-cortisone or other anti-inflammatory steroid, or sometimes orally.

Respiratory allergies can manifest in different ways. Sometimes the symptoms are localized only in the upper respiratory system, mostly nasal passages, but they can progress with time and affect the lung functions as well. Hay fever or allergic rhinitis, when the nasal passages are affected, is usually treated with nasal corticosteroid spray on long term.

When the lung functions are affected as a result of allergens, allergic asthma is diagnosed. The symptoms here include: coughing, difficult breathing or shortness of breath, low oxygen level in the blood, as a result of allergic inflammation on the respiratory system.  Read more here about types of  asthma and treatment.

For food, insect stings and drug allergies the best treatment is to avoid the food and drugs that cause an allergic reaction. If the reaction is not strong the doctor may prescribe antihistamines or topical creams to relieve the itchiness and slow down the reaction.  In severe reactions the doctor will prescribe epinephrine injections to prevent an anaphylactic shock.