ASTHMA IN THE MONSOON SEASON
A 25 year old woman came to my clinic with the
complaint of asthma. She had been suffering from asthma since childhood
and had taken many different inhalers and treatment. However every
year during the monsoon season the attacks would become more intense
and the frequency would increase. This was especially in Mumbai.
If she went out of town to a dry climate she felt much better. She
wanted to know if Homoeopathy would help her.
WHY DOES THE MONSOON AFFECT PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA?
Certain constitutions seem to be affected more
by the wet, damp weather than any other season. During the monsoon
season the humidity levels in the air are very high and this can
cause problems for some people. Also there are a lot of viral infections
and everybody seems to have a cold, cough, fever. Therefore people
especially asthmatics, who are extra sensitive to the environment
around them seem to get affected more during this season.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF AN ASTHMA ATTACK?
Here are a few of the common signs and symptoms
that a person suffering from asthma experiences.
1. Breathlessness is the main symptom. The patient experiences a
difficulty in breathing and has to exert in order to breathe.
2. The child usually has a cough, which causes problems. This cough
may be dry or with congestion in the chest and comes on very frequently.
3. A wheeze may be heard while breathing. This is because of the
narrowing of the bronchial tubes.
4. Thick mucous may be present which makes respiration more difficult.
5. There might be other respiratory symptoms like cold and blocking
of the nose, which makes the child breathe through the mouth.
6. Flaring of the nostrils, using the neck and other accessory muscles
of respiration is not a good sign.
7. There might be a fever and the patient feels exhausted and fatigued.
8. The child may become cranky and his or her behavior might change.
9. The asthma patient normally experiences a tightness of the chest.
They feel as if a load is there.
10. The appetite decreases as the breathlessness and heaviness of
the chest is worse after eating.
HOW IS AN ASTHMA ATTACK TREATED AND MANAGED?
There are a number of drugs and inhalers available
for the treatment of an asthma attack. They help either by dilating
the airways or by suppressing the immune reaction of the body to
the allergen. Often steroids are used in the treatment of an attack
and though they are very effective in the longer run they have their
own set of side-effects. Please understand that these are only temporary
measures, which should be given during an acute attack, but it is
not the long term solution to this problem. However let me specify
again that these drugs should be given in order to relieve the patient
either in the form of a tablet, inhaler, syrup or nebulizer in case
of acute attack. Nebulizer is one of the most effective and least
harmful way of dispensing these drugs and should be especially for
The key to treating and managing asthma is to
prevent it from occurring. For this your immune system has to be
in order and under control. The trigger factors should be avoided
both in the environment and in diet. This ideal situation is very
hard to achieve in our daily lives in this city. Environmental changes
and pollution is hard to avoid and people who are susceptible will
get affected. This susceptibility is what we try to remove in our
Homoeopathic system of medicine in order to treat asthma.
Like I have mentioned above there are certain
people or constitutions who seem to be sensitive to cold, wet, damp
weather as compared to any other season. Here are a few well proven
remedies to treat asthmatics during the monsoon season.
The main symptom of this drug is difficulty in
breathing during damp weather. The asthma is a humid one with rattling
sound heard in the chest. The patient feels especially uncomfortable
in the early hours of morning around 4 - 5 am.
The expectoration is thick, ropy, greenish in colour. The asthma
attack comes on if the patient gets a cold.
The Natrum Sulph patient feels worse in damp, wet weather and at
night. They get relief by sitting up and by holding his or her chest
with both hands.
Natrum Sulph 200, 5 pills 4 times a day will give
The case of the 25 year old female narrated above
received this medicine as a constitutional one. She had difficulty
in breathing especially during the monsoon season and at night.
She would get relief only when she slept on her stomach or lying
on her face which is a peculiar symptom of this drug.
Another thing that I noticed about her was that she was in a great
hurry to say and do things. Her relatives also described her as
being nervous and restless and always in a hurry.
I gave her Medorrhinum 200, in constitutional
doses and her attacks reduced in intensity and frequency.
Another very handy remedy to treat cases of asthma
which are worse in cold, wet weather is Dulcamara. Here the patient
complains of a dry, hoarse, spasmodic cough. Physical exertion causes
more problems and breathlessness. All the symptoms seem to be worse
indoors, drinking cold drinks, ice-cream, damp ground etc…
Dulcamara patients feel much better in dry weather and by warmth.
Dulcamara 200, 5 pills in repeated doses should
be given during acute attacks.
The arsenic alb patient suffers greatly during
any change of weather. Here the patient will not be able to lie
down due to feeling of suffocation. The air passages feel constricted.
The asthma is worse while laughing, lying on back, at night, from
damp cold and anxiety.
Like Medorrhinum even the Arsenic patient is extremely restless
and thinks that he or she is not going to recover. They feel better
by hot application and heat.
Arsenic Alb 200, 5 pills should be given according
to the intensity and severity of the symptoms.
This Article has been written in order to make
people aware that Homoeopathy has wonderful treatment for Monsoon
related asthmas. However self-medication is not advisable especially
in cases of asthma and children.