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Asthma, my children and grandchildren

Posted Oct 23 2008 6:33pm

Asthma, what is it?

Asthma is an allergy, a medical problem involving the respiratory system (lungs, nose, etc.), a chronic condition that when it hits, caused the airways to constrict and the victim suffers from shortage of breathe, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. If serious, it can lead to death. Many children suffers from asthma, but many sort of grew out of it and don't get attacks anymore, but that does not mean they have been cured. It can hit them again anytime if triggered by something.

My children suffered from it when young. One got it so bad once, he had to be hospitalized. The doctor prescribed steroid and I watched helplessly (I hate steroid and knows what it can do), but the steroid did its job and he was helped out of danger. But I still didn't like the fact that he was given steroid, but what can we do? His life was in danger!!!!

For some reasons, the number of people suffering from asthma is increasing, but not all are serious. Some only suffer from shortness of breathe, example, after exercise, but that stops by itself after a while. Milder cases can be treated with inhaler, other milder drugs, etc. Others may end up like my son, have to be hospitalized for their own safety. It is not something to thumb your nose at. It can be life threatening.

Treatments for asthma

One way is to try to identify what triggered the allergy and then try to desensitize the patient to the allergen (the agent or substance that triggers the allergy). This is almost a "cure" but note the inverted commas.

The conventional way to treat asthma is to first determine its severity, as the treatment will depend on how the asthmatic attacks are. For short term relief from the symptoms, bronchodilators are used. For exercise induced asthmatic attacks, the thing is to stop the exercise for mild cases.



The above photo of the Ventolin TM (Albuterol/Salbutamol) inhaler is a very familiar sight to me as my kids 20 to 30 years ago used them. When they get an asthmatic attack, they will have to take the Ventolin TM inhaler out, put the mouthpiece in their mouth, then they mus synchronize their breathing in with the pressing of the (I think aerosol can) to release the medication in the form of an aerosol spray so that it goes into their lungs to do their work.

But try to teach this to very young kids!! You will have a tough time explaining what they have to do. So someone came up with some the idea of putting an intermediary container between the Ventolin inhaler and the young children's mouth, and this works amazingly well. Below is a photo of one such device:



You can get Ventolin inhaler from the mortar and bricks pharmacies or via Online Canadian Pharmacy Escrow Service. They sell both prescription drugs online as well as herbal medications. Now I just wonder that if ever they were unfortunate to get this medical condition called asthma, whether the parents should consider alternatives like herbal medications for asthma.

But really, I am being that overly anxious grandfather and I should wait and see if the condition ever erupt before I even think about it. But perhaps I might do some digging (I am a retired scientist and researcher after all) if I find some free time and be well prepared (I was a Boy Scout in my school days, and that is the motto of the Boy Scout: "Be prepared".
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