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Asthma & Respiratory Problems
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My daughter is 1.2 years old. She is suffering from bronchitis asthma and recently had her first asthmatic attack. Can you suggest some homeopathic or allopathic remedy so that her asthmatic problem is cured in the initial stages and it does not recur?

Jyotsna (Mumbai, India)

A: There is no cure for asthma in any system of medicine. What you need to do is to take adequate precautions to prevent relapses and get treatment as soon as the child is symptomatic.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: Over the last one month, my 3 year son has been suffering from asthmatic bronchitis (as diagnosed by her paediatrician). He has had two attacks of severe cough and cold. He has been prescribed Distaclor (187 mg) and Ventorlin Expectorant. He also had to be nebulised twice. The doctor says it is due to pollution and change of season. I have started giving him homeopathic medication because I am worried about the long-term effects of allopathic treatments. Is there any long-term and permanent cure? I hope she doesn't turn into an asthmatic patient. I am expecting my second child in next 5 months. What should I do to ensure my second child doesn't develop asthma?

Shama (Hyderabad, India)

A: Here are some facts about asthma: 1. No system of medicine can 'cure asthma. We can only control it. 2. Avoiding of triggers like smoke, dust, fumes, perfumes, artificial colouring agents is the best way to prevent attacks 3. As soon as you see your child developing a cold, get in touch with your doctor. 4. There are many ways of giving drugs to asthmatics like through Nebulzers, MDI, Rotacaps, oral drugs, steroids, and so on, but these can be prescribed by a doctor on seeing the condition of the child. 5. It is better to give drugs in proper dosage and duration to reduce the side effects. No one knows what a homeopathic drug contains. 6. Regular check ups with your doctor is a must to prevent attacks. 7. If there is a strong family history of asthma, there is no way we can predict or prevent the newborn from getting it. Keep away from pollution, and similary, keep your child away from pollution. When travelling, make sure your windows are rolled up.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My son is very prone to 'upper respiratory tract infection' which now seems to respond only to antibiotics. Is it right to give him so much of antibiotic medication?

Kaushali (Mumbai, India)

A: Until your child turns 5 years, about 10 upper respiratory tract infections per year are not a cause for worry. I would recommend antibiotics for such episodes only if they are associated with fever, cough or a yellow discharge from the nose.

Q: My child is prone to wheezing, and has loose stools. She has been put on lactose free formula ISOMIL, and while she has stopped wheezing, she still has loose stools. For how long will she have to continue with the Soya formula? She was put on ventorlin and flexotide inhalers to stop the wheezing but I am not very comfortable with a complex treatment like this for such a small baby. Is it safe? Is there any test that could show us what exactly is she allergic to? She is highly sensitive to things like eggs, cake, creams, soaps and most facial creams. (They cause her to develop a kind of eczema.)

Jesica (Dubai, UAE)

A: It sounds like your child has asthma and related problems. Since your child is already nearing 1 year, you may stop formula milk and start her on solids. Make sure she avoids whatever she is allergic to.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My child is 2 year old. He is hyperactive and just cannot sit in one place. He has a severe cough. We have tried allopathy, homeopathy and ayurvedic medicines. He responds well to the medicine, but again catches a cough when the medicine is stopped. He does not gain weight at all. Our family doctor has diagnosied it as HRAD - hyper reactive to air disease. He has a severe cough at night and cannot sleep.

Shyam (Mumbai, India)

A: Your doctor may be right. Some call it Asthma or Asthmatic Bronchitis while others call it reactive airway disease. Basically if you or someone in your family has got asthma, allergies or eczema, he is more likely to develop it. Common symptoms are coughing especially at night or early morning, with or without wheezing and difficulty in breathing. This can be triggered by cigarette smoke, cat hair, feathers, chemical irritants, food and most importantly, dust. The attacks can be precipitated by a viral infection or by doing exercises like running etc. The ideal way is to find out what precipitates the attack and remove it. Dust control is an essential measure. Floors and wall should be cleaned regularly especially of his bedroom. Bed sheets should be washed in hot water regularly. If the symptoms affect his night sleep and his activities at school then he should be started on regular medications like steroids. The best way to administer steroids is by using an inhaler. This way it acts exactly where it is needed and thus reduces side-effects. Since he is only 2 years he will need to use it with a spacer and a mask. You can use it even when he is sleeping. Ideally it should be used twice a day. This steroid does not prevent acute attacks. He needs to have a `broncho dilator` - a medicine which relaxes his airways and makes him breath easier. He can take 2-4 puffs 3-4 times a day or more if needed initially and gradually reduce or use it only when required. However, the steroids should be used regularly whether he has symptoms or not, and should be gradually reduced after 3-4 months. By using inhalers with spacers we use minimum quantity of medicines and there are no side-effects. On the other hand, if you don't use this, this might affect his sleep and activities which are very necessary for his growth. If his symptoms are getting worse, then he needs to have steroids by mouth in addition to these inhalers. These inhalers are prescribed by paediatricians all over the world to lot of children and so you can use them without any fear. But, before that you should make sure you remove or at least reduce all the triggering factors. Please contact your paediatrician and he should be able to help you.

Dr. Balasubramanian

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