What is Asthma?
The word asthma has originated from an ancient Greek word meaning panting. Essentially asthma is a chronic and recurring in flammation of the air ways (bronchi) that results in obstruction of air flow. Asthma is very common all over the world, in all age groups. It may start in as early as months old baby to elder age group. Asthma is largely controllable and to an extent curable, depending on the stage and extent of the disease.
What happens in Asthma? (Pathogenesis)
There is a decrease in the lumen of the air ways resulting from a two fold response to the allergens and other irritants. Primarily in a hyper reactive response, the smooth muscles in the airways constrict and narrow excessively. Followed by an inflammatory response where the immune system responds to the allergens by sending white blood cells and other immune factors to the airways. These inflammatory factors cause a swelling of the airways and also an increase in the mucus secretion thus causing symptoms like wheezing, cough and shortness of breath.
Children aged 2-12 years reported higher rates of asthma (15.7%) than adults aged 16 years and over (10.1%). In males, the prevalence of asthma was highest among children aged 2-12 years; in females, prevalence was highest among young adults aged 16-24 years. Asthma is also closely linked to allergies. Most, but not all, people with asthma have allergies. Children with a family history of allergy and asthma are more likely to have asthma.
What is Bronchitis
Bronchitis simply means an inflammation of the bronchus, the windpipe. This is usually caused by infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, etc) or allergy or both. This condition is widely prevalent throughout the world and is a frequent cause of absenteeism from school and work.
Bronchitis seems to be slightly more common in women as compared to males though the difference is not significant. It is more common amongst the younger age-group as compared to the adult population.
Causes of Bronchitis
Symptoms of Bronchitis:
Cough is the most common symptom. The cough may be either dry (without mucus) or wet (with mucus), depending on the cause and severity. Allergic cough is often dry while infective cough has a tendency to have mucus production. The symptoms of Bronchitis may be listed as under:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (lung) Disease) is a common form of chronic lung disease found all across the world. It is the abbreviation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Pulmonary refer to lungs. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis is discussed separately. Here we will focus on Emphysema. Emphysema is a chronic progressive disease of lung. It is caused by destruction of tissue surrounding air sacs (alveoli) in lungs. Due to this, alveoli cannot retain air inside them ultimately leading to shortness of breath.
Causes of COPD:
Major causes include smoking and pollution.
Symptoms of COPD
Patients suffer lack of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in lungs. Patient exhibit shortness of breath. Symptoms usually get increased by physical activity. Eventually it will occur after any physical exertion. Later on the patient may complain of rapid breathing (tachypnoea). They may also lose weight. The anteroposterior diameter of chest may increase (barrel chest).
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the airspaces (alveoli; singular alveolus) in the lung most commonly caused by infections. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi (infrequently) can cause the infection. There are also a few noninfectious types of pneumonia that are caused by inhaling or aspirating foreign matter or toxic substances into the lungs. Some cases of pneumonia are life-threatening. Around 50,000 people die each year of pneumonia in the U.S. Although anyone of any age can be affected, pneumonia is more common in elderly people and often occurs when the immune system becomes weakened via a prior infection or another condition. Pneumonia is generally more serious when it affects older adults, infants and young children, those with chronic medical conditions, or those with weakened immune function.
Symptoms and signs -:
Symptoms and signs of pneumonia may be mild or severe and depend upon someone's overall state of health as well as the type of organism causing the pneumonia. Severe symptoms of pneumonia include
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are other possible symptoms that can accompany the respiratory symptoms.
Infants and newborns may not show specific symptoms of pneumonia. Instead, the baby or child may appear restless or lethargic. A baby or child with pneumonia may also have a fever or cough or vomit. Older adults or those who have weak immune systems may also have fewer symptoms and a lower temperature. A change in mental status, such as confusion, can develop in older adults with pneumonia.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens, which are usually harmless substances but trigger an allergic reaction in some people.People with rhinitis are prone to symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion and sinus pressure. Rhinitis can contribute to other problems such as asthma, sinus or ear conditions or trouble sleeping.Seasonal allergic rhinitis, often referred to as hay fever, is typically caused by outdoor allergens such as pollen from trees, grasses and weeds.
Perennial allergic rhinitis occurs year-round. It is usually triggered by allergens such as pets or dust mites.
Some people with rhinitis symptoms donít suffer from allergies. The symptoms may be similar, but the causes are different. Strong odors, pollution, smoke and other irritants may cause symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis. Medications and other chronic health conditions can also contribute to non-allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Sinusitis is an inflammation or infection of one or more of the sinuses. A sinus is a hollow air space in the skull. These are also known as the para-nasal sinuses since they surround the nasal cavity. The para-nasal sinuses include:
Sinusitis can be classified (based on the duration) into:
The common causes of this condition include:
Allergy is nothing but an exaggerated response of the body to certain external or internal agents, whereby body reacts in the form of symptoms such as itching, running of the nose, wheeze, inflammation, swelling, skin rash, etc. All the symptoms as above are simply expressions of an allergic process.
One may be allergic to anything under the sun, inclusive of the sun, as they say.
All kind of allergic disorders find excellent treatment with homeopathy. For a long time allergic conditions have been considered incurable merely due to the ignorance about the amazing benefits of homeopathy. Respiratory allergy, asthma, skin allergy, pollen allergy, frequent colds, childhood asthma, etc. just to name a few, are treated with tremendous success with well planned homeopathic treatment.
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