ASTHMA – RISK FACTORS
- Hereditary : Researches have shown that about 30% of patients give a family history of allergy or asthma or both of them. In view of Homeopathic Philosophy, every disease process is a result of genetically determined tendencies, which is called “Miasm”. Dr. Hahnemann was first to identify the miasmatic influences affecting the disease process. These are called as “Fundamental cause” of the diseases.
- Allergens : Allergens are the major culprit in a large number of patients causing allergic asthmatic attack. These allergens may include:
o House dust mite, dust
o Animal hair / dander (cat, dog, bird)
o Fungus / Molds
o Feather / cotton stuffing of pillow and mattress
o Grass pollen
o Tree pollen
o Weed pollen
- Trigger in food and drinks
- Certain food and drinks can bring about an asthma attack(but it happens rarely).
- Acidic drinks like cola/other aerated drinks.
- Metabisulphite containing food like wines, pickles and vinegar.
- Monosodium glutamate (Ajinamoto salt).
- Drugs : Various drugs and chemicals are known to cause asthma. Aspirin, Beta-blockers, Histamine, NSAIDS, preservatives in certain drugs and coloring agents (tartrazine) are the most common examples.
- Infections : Viral infections of the nose (causing common cold), throat and lungs can trigger asthma. Usually nasal symptoms like rhinitis (running nose) and sneezing can precede an attack of asthma.
- Exercise (Exercise induced asthma) : Strenuous physical exercise should be avoided by asthmatics as it causes increased irritability of the airways thereby increasing the tendency to inflammation and infection as compared to non-asthmatics.
- Climate : Winds, rains, sudden changes in climate aggravates allergic manifestations. Physical agents like cold, heat may start an allergic phenomenon and hence can be called as Pseudo-allergens. Many patients become worse in rainy weather. Some patients feel better during rainy season as the allergens like pollens and pollutants are then washed. Some patient get well at high altitude may be due to less pollution and dust free environment.
- Occupation (Occupational Asthma) : Certain occupations can be harmful for people with an allergic background for e.g. bakers, farmers, and poultry-men are exposed to large amounts of fungus. Farmers and gardeners are exposed to pollens, mattress renovators to house dust, beauticians and barbers to dyes and animal dander (small scales from animal hair or bird feathers).
- Emotions (Psychosomatic Asthma) : In some cases, an attack of asthma may be caused from an emotional disturbance. Such attacks are termed as Psychogenic asthmatic attack. Emotional upsets, and people who are emotionally weak, tend to have hyper-irritable effect of the airways leading to their constriction. Some of the psychogenic causes may include:
- Fear of Examination.
- Fear of separation from the loved one.
- Fear of being punished by teacher or parents especially in children.
- Fear of restriction or want of freedom.
- Unsuccessful love.
- Worries of family, business or future.
- Financial insecurity.
- Smoking : Tobacco or cigarette smoking causes narrowing of the airways in active as well as passive smokers. Also smoke from wood-burning heating stoves and fireplaces can be extremely irritating to asthmatics because of the release of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide.
- Conditions of Nasal Passage : Allergic rhinitis, Sinusitis, Nasal polyps etc may aggravate the condition of an asthmatic patient.