Asthma is a respiratory condition where the bronchial tubes become inflamed causing you to have trouble breathing. When the inflammation occurs, the tubes narrow which causes you to produce extra mucus.
Many cases of asthma can be minor and don’t interfere with your life. Other cases are so severe that each attack can be life-threatening. It can be a condition that only lasts for a few years or it can be chronic and lifelong.
This condition is not one that can be self-diagnosed. It will require a specialist to monitor your condition and there are certain medications and inhalers that you will have to use. Asthma affects more than three million people in the United States every year.
What are the signs and symptoms of asthma?
The initial symptoms of asthma are difficulty breathing. This can be accompanied by chest pain, wheezing and coughing. The cough can either be a dry hacking cough or a wet cough with a large amount of phlegm.
These symptoms can be accompanied by breathing through your mouth and frequent respiratory infections. You may find yourself short of breath during the night and breathing very rapidly a lot of the time.
How is asthma diagnosed?
The diagnosis of asthma will come through medical examination and numerous tests. After your initial examination, you will need to have respiratory function tests.
The respiratory function tests are conducted both before and after some medication is given to see the level of improvement possible. The first test is called spirometers and it measures how much air you can expel after you take a deep breath. It also measures how fast you can breathe out.
The second test is called a Peak Flow Meter which measures how hard you can breathe out. If the reading is low, that means that your lungs aren’t working well. If these initial two tests show asthma, you may be required to do other tests to determine if there are allergies involved, the type of asthma you have, and the severity. These tests will include x-rays and other imaging.
How is asthma treated?
Treatment includes medication to keep the inflammation down, inhalers to ease your symptoms quickly, and other medicine that works more long-term. You may be required to do sessions of breathing inhaled medication as well.
CAN CHIROPRACTIC CARE HELP MY ASTHMA?
When your chiropractor does adjustments on the thoracic vertebrae in your upper back, you will find it easier to breathe. This adjusts the nerve connections in the area of your lungs and takes some of the stress off. Supporting massage can relieve much of the anxiety experienced by asthmatics. Some studies show up to a 70% improvement in breathing from a chiropractic treatment regimen.
HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD I SEE A CHIROPRACTOR TO EASE MY ASTHMA SYMPTOMS?
Your chiropractor can help you decide that once you both see how much adjustments can help you breathe easier. It all depends on your individual case.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO REDUCE MY ASTHMA SYMPTOMS?
There are several things you can do to avoid an attack in the first place. Avoiding pollution and smoke can make you breathe easier. Don’t over-exert yourself. Any activity that leaves you gasping for breath is probably one you should avoid. You should have your allergies checked to make sure that the family dog or cat isn’t contributing to your condition.