According to the World Health Organization’s asthma fact sheet, asthma affects around 235 million people worldwide, most of them being children. Even if asthma has no cure, appropriate management and medication help people enjoy satisfactory lives. If you are not a huge fan of medication, you should know that you have other means of controlling asthma and prevent asthma attacks.
While keeping far from the triggers is a good idea, we cannot hide forever in our homes only to avoid outdoor allergens and air pollution. Inhalers are also a good, portable device to keep the symptoms in check. However, we may not have the inhaler close by at all times or we might want to try alternative interventions. Today we will discuss five methods to keep asthma in check without the inhaler.
1. Change the Mattress and Mind the Indoor Design
Asthma and allergies flourish if we do not take control over the allergens in our homes. Besides the usual dust and pet dander, we need to keep an eye on dust mites, mold, household fragrances, and many more. If your asthma symptoms get worse inside the house and prevent you from having a normal life and a restful sleep, it is time to change your mattress.
You should buy a mattress that alleviates asthma symptoms and makes sure it also keeps you safe from odors and microorganisms. Make sure the material and built distributes your body heat evenly and offers good body support that does not interfere with your breathing.
You should take the same precautions when you buy bed linens – go for hypoallergenic, organic fabrics that help you breathe and get good sleep. Moreover, as you take a walk around the house, make sure your carpets do not turn into dust and micro-organisms collectors to make your life inside the house even harder. You may want to give up on the carpets if you have family members who suffer from asthma, skin sensitivity, and allergies.
You can also try underfloor heating instead of traditional radiant heating. The former does not move the air up and down but keeps it cleaner and safer for people with allergies and asthma.
2. Integrative Medicine for Asthma Attacks
Just as the lifestyle changes described above, integrative medicine represents another way to control asthma in the long term so you can live without your inhaler. Clinical studies show that people improving some dietary habits and making some lifestyle manipulations show significant improvement in their respiratory and pulmonary health. Among such tweaks proposed by integrative medicine, we found a few of interest:
- Consumption of omega 3 fatty acids improve asthma control (fish oils);
- Vitamin C and hops extract show good results in asthma patients;
- Ginger enhances airway dilation more than medication does, so ginger consumption and ginger-based treatments can replace traditional inhalers;
- Vitamin B6 and other alimentary supplements showed promising results in alleviating asthma symptoms, therefore asthma-oriented diets and behavioral techniques represent something to take seriously;
A healthy lifestyle begins with small modifications you can implement in your everyday life without effort or stress. Make sure you also confirm with your doctor any dietary, behavioral, or sleep changes you want to make to alleviate asthma in the long term.
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3. Yoga for Preventing Asthma Attacks
Yoga teaches you how to breathe correctly and how to relax. Correct breathing techniques help asthma patients, especially during asthma attacks. Yoga reduces hyperventilation – one of the main components of a panic attack – while it eases symptoms and improves results. If you practice yoga for body strength or weight loss, relaxation, correct breathing, meditation, or cardio, you will learn in time how to breathe deep, in a manner that is beneficial for your respiratory system. Prolonged and mindful yoga practice also decreases the number of asthma attacks patients experience.
4. Chiropractic Care
When it comes to alternative medicine and complementary treatments, the scientific community still has plenty of research to conduct. However, literature reviews show that many asthmatic patients declared improvements after following chiropractic treatment. It may have been placebo or it may have worked as described, but one thing is sure: good, certified chiropractors can help you achieve a better quality of life, even if you suffer from asthma or allergies.
Chiropractic treatment may focus on the primary problem in asthma (breathing as part of your muscular and skeletal functioning) or secondary problems to asthma (related to spinal symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and motion problems). While there is no definitive answer whether the chiropractor can alleviate asthma, many people are subjectively happy with chiropractic therapies.
5. Have a Cup of Coffee
This is a simple trick to keep asthma under control when you feel an attack coming and you do not have your inhaler at hand. Nobody will ever recommend you treat any illness with caffeine, but in some cases, it can make things a lot better. Caffeine acts as a bronchodilator, opening up your airwaves when you have an asthma attack to deal with. A small dose of caffeine can help you control your asthma and improve your respiratory and pulmonary functions for up to four hours, enough to get to an inhaler or your doctor if needed.
When and if you feel an asthma attack ready to disrupt your everyday life, try having a cup of hot freshly brewed black coffee, a cup of hot black or green tea, or a cup of hot dark chocolate. Clinical studies showed that such beverages could help you with asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, chronic coughing, or chest tightness.
Asthma patients feel they should limit their lives and avoid anything that might trigger an asthma attack. However, one can achieve a good quality of life and satisfactory state of health once he or she focuses on long-term lifestyle changes and improvements.
Do you suffer from asthma? How do you control it without an inhaler? What other methods do you use to keep it in check?