What Is Child Asthma?
Child asthma or childhood asthma is a respiratory disease affecting infants and children. In simple language, it is nothing but asthmatic bronchitis found in the pediatric age group (children between 0-18 years). It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the respiratory tubes that is often associated with allergies. Children with asthmatic bronchitis face difficulty in breathing which results in a wheezing (whistling) sound from the chest. This condition often starts with cold (a runny nose) and cough for weeks which is followed by breathlessness or panting after exertion. And, this breathlessness is caused due to the constriction of respiratory tubes (i.e. the bronchi) in the lungs. Many cases are often associated with allergies, such as eczema, allergic rhinitis, and urticaria, etc., while some cases may only present with an inflammatory condition of the respiratory passage. And, a few cases can be a combination of allergy and an inflammatory condition.
Childhood asthma is also called as pediatric (branch of medicine related to diseases in children) asthma in the medical terms. It is one of the most common chronic conditions in infants and children which are difficult to diagnose. It has been found that a few children after the age of 7 years naturally outgrow asthma. But, they need rigorous treatment and good medical attention to reduce the longevity of this disease once they are diagnosed with it.
Incidence: Globally, about 11% to 13% of the population under the age of 18 years suffers from asthma. Boys are found to suffer from this condition more than girls. Childhood asthma has been one of the top reasons for the absenteeism in the school.
Homeopathic Treatment For Child Asthma
Homeopathy is a better and safe option for treating asthmatic bronchitis in infants and children. It works by boosting immunity and improving the lung capacities of the patient. Homeopathy also works on the airways, thereby reducing the inflammation which in turn reduces the cough and breathlessness. Regular homeopathic treatment for a sufficient period helps in reducing the frequency and intensity of the attacks. There are various homeopathic medicines, such as Arsenic album, Hepar sulphuricum, Natrum sulphuricum, Medorrhinum, and Antimonium tartaricum, which can remedy most of the diseases of the respiratory tract. These medicines also help in improving the general health of the patient which is affected due to the disease. The overall recovery from this asthmatic condition with homeopathic remedies depends on the duration, severity, and frequency of the asthma episodes.
Scope And Duration of Treatment
Homeopathy has a wide scope when it comes to treating child asthma effectively and safely without any side-effects. Homeopathy focuses on reducing the frequency, duration, and intensity of the recurrent cold, cough, and asthma episodes.
The scope of recovery is good when the case is detected/diagnosed recently. The early you start the homeopathic treatment the better is the recovery.
Recently (less than one year) detected cases may start responding within 6 to 8 weeks of homeopathic treatment.
Chronic cases (children suffering from asthma for more than 2-3 years) take more time to recover than the cases which are just a year old. They may also need time to respond to the treatment and may show some response within 3-4 months of the treatment.
In our experience, we have noted that children respond to homeopathic treatment more effectively than adults.
Cases treated with steroids for a long time increase the duration of the homeopathic treatment.
Genetically, inherited cases of asthma need long-term treatment to attain a good remission (symptom-free) period.
Our Experience InTreating Child Asthma Using Homeopathy
Based on our rich experience of 34 years, we at Life Force, strongly recommend homeopathy as the first line of treatment for childhood asthma. We have been treating over 550 cases of child asthma, out of which the majority of the cases responded very well to our medicines. We have documented cases of children who were in various stages of asthmatic bronchitis. We could successfully reduce the episodes of recurrent cold, cough, and asthma which also helped us in improving their general health and overall growth. We could bring smiles on the faces of many parents, who later have narrated their success stories of how homeopathic treatment helped their children to get rid of asthma(give video link here).In this way, we have helped children reduce their absenteeism in the school which would further lead to their bright future.
Asthma in children is a complex disease to diagnose. One should think of homeopathy at the earliest for a steady recovery.
Pathogenesis Of Child Asthma
This disease usually starts long before it is even identified. Long-term triggers of asthma lead to sensitization and chronic inflammation of the respiratory passages. This further leads to hypersecretion of mucus (a liquid secreted by mucus membranes and glands in the lungs) causing recurrent cold and cough. This chronic airway inflammation leads to the constriction of the respiratory tubes (bronchi) limiting the airflow into the lungs. This finally leads to respiratory symptoms, such as breathless, wheezing, and a full-blown picture of asthma.
The term ‘atopy’ is linked to allergic conditions like asthma. Atopy is a tendency or a genetic predisposition to generate IgE (an immunoglobulin that is trigger after any allergic reaction in the body) response to an allergen in the air.
Causes Of Child Asthma
1) Recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (cold and cough)
2)Genetics: A strong family history of asthma or allergies may make a child suffer from this asthmatic condition. Either of the parent suffering from any allergic conditions, such as asthma, eczema (allergic skin rash), or allergic rhinitis (allergic cold), may make the child prone to contract it. If both the parents are suffering from any of such allergies, the risk is even more.
3)Smoke: Passive smoking (long-term exposure to cigarette smoking without self-smoking) may make a child suffer from this condition. Exposure to tobacco smoke before or after birth too may be a reason for the development of asthma in kids.
4)Low weight at birth
5)Living in areas with high air pollution
Symptoms Of Child Asthma
1) Asthma usually starts with frequent colds and cough, where the cough usually gets worse at night
2) Wheezing: On chest examination, a high-pitched whistling sound in the lungs can be heard while breathing out (exhalation)
3) Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, particularly after exertion
4) Discomfort or tightness in the chest
5) The child gets tired easily after doing any activity.
6) Generalized weakness and a lack of stamina
Triggering Factors For Child Asthma
The symptoms may worsen after the exposure to certain triggers or events as listed below.
2) Strong odors: Perfumes, incense sticks, phenyls, etc.
3) Dust and dust mites
4) Pollens: Season between the month of March-May
5) Pet dander (dog or cat fur)
6) Eating foods containing preservatives, canned foods, eggs, peanuts, pistachios, fish, etc.
Tests And Diagnosis For Child Asthma
Child asthma is diagnosed after studying a thorough case history and physical examination. The child is examined for any sounds in the chest (typically wheezing in asthma)and any chest congestion to assess any lung infection if it’s affecting the kid. A chest X-ray of your child is needed to see the condition of the lungs or any evidence for respiratory tract infection. If your child is more than 6 years old, a test called spirometry is performed that will measure the capacity of the lungs after air is blown in. This gives a fair idea about the severity of asthma. Other tests include complete blood count to monitor Eosinophils count and IgE levels (allergy levels in the blood).
Conventional Treatment For Child Asthma
Bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs are the mainstays of modern medical prescription. Steroid inhalers are also administered to the infants and children suffering from a chronic cough and wheezing. But, children who are under 4 years of age are given a low dose of steroids through nebulizers. Other treatment like postural drainage (medical treatment in which the patient is placed on a slightly inverted position to promote the removal of cough) may be recommended as per the need.
Supportive Measures For Child Asthma (Diet, Exercise, And Environmental Modifications)
Diet And Exercise
Monitor the child for allergies to any particular environmental trigger or any food substances. Generally, children are found to be allergic to groundnuts, almonds, preserved foods, pistachios, soybean, fish, milk, eggs, and wheat. Identify the food allergen and avoid it for a certain time. We, at Life Force, recommend a gluten-free(gluten is protein in wheat) and casein-free (casein is protein in milk) diet for asthma during homeopathic treatment. Gradually, start introducing the same once you find that the frequency and intensity of asthma episodes have reduced after the treatment. Warm fluids, such as tulsi and ginger tea, are also good home remedies that can help keep recurrent cold and cough at bay.
Exercise: This is one of the most important factors for asthma management in children. Some parents have a notion that children suffering from asthma should be restricted indoors and should not be playing out with other children to avoid infection. This belief might make asthma even worse. It is important that the child should play good outdoor games, which involves lung activity, and should engage in every sport, which will improve their lung capacities. This routine should be avoided during severe cold and cough episodes.
Asthma is known to get triggered in humid weather. Hence, it is important to prevent moisture from getting trapped around you. Keep yourself dry. Babies and children should be worn clothes which are properly dried in the sun or under the fan. Wet and soiled clothes should be immediately changed. Avoid getting wet in the rain. Dry your child immediately if he gets wet in the rain. Warm baths twice a day helps to keep the body warm. It has been observed that during an episode exposing your child to a pollution-free environment where there is plenty of fresh air often helps in relieving your kid of the asthma symptoms.
Ensure that you keep your home clean and dry. This will help keep fungi, pests, and dust mites at bay that, in turn, will help in preventing asthma symptoms. Avoid keeping pets at home. Keep your child away from the dogs and cats which may trigger the symptoms of asthma. Refrain from using strong detergents, perfumes, and incense sticks at home when cold and cough starts affecting you.
Healthy lifestyle practices, including proper handwashing, wearing clean clothes, drinking plenty of liquids, particularly warm fluids during the episodes, a well-balanced diet, and adequate rest will go a long way in treating childhood asthma.