I have come to accept my asthma as part of my life. It gets better, or worse and in periods, stays dormant waiting to pounce on me like a crafty cat.
I have, over the years, compared notes with other sufferers and have come to believe that most of us (asthma sufferers) tend to have their hands (erm, I mean their noses) full of a cacophony of colds, sinuses and other breathing issues too. So, we learn to irritatingly negotiate our way through life; wheezing, sniffing, sneezing and semi breathing at turns. Laden with our inhalers, miles of tissues, and staying well away from the pollen, we stumble along with a fatalistic apathy that we came into this planet doomed with a curse from the God of breathing.
Of course we try various cures. It starts with our mum’s desparate remedies and, once diagnosed that our airways basically have a mean attitude of getting inflamed and closing down on us, we learn to live with it.
Fingers crossed and with inhalers at the ready we soldier on.
If I have touched a chord with any of you, let me share my latest efforts of a therapy for my ongoing burden. Yes, salt inhalation therapy!
Salt inhalation has been around since the Greeks, when Hippocrates recommended it for respiratory problems. The only recent evidence, however, comes from the former Soviet Union; a 1999 Lithuanian study of 250 children and 500 adults found that salt therapy for an hour a day for two weeks improved respiratory results in nine out of 10 cases. Hitherto, it still remains fairly unknown in the Western world, though ‘taking in the sea-air’ was always known to be helpful.
Salt inhalation therapy traditionally came through ‘salt caves’, places that can be loosely described as bit like a salty igloos. There are salt drifts everywhere around the world, underfoot and lining the walls. Now, hairnets are donned and shoes covered to keep these caves free of dirt, while the sound of waves and seagulls played inside enhances the weird, seaside effect. But the reality is the salt is purely decorative as the supposed medical benefit comes from breathing in sodium chloride aerosol, which is piped into the therapy rooms by a microclimate generator. This mixes milled salt with a current of air. The theory is that by breathing this in, mucus in the respiratory tract is loosened and coughed up. However The Saltpipe, a handy apparatus manufactured in the UK, has now made it both, more affordable (for the price of a few prescriptions) and accessible whenever one needs it.
Evidence of benefits are pouring in as small, regular usage is creating significant changes in conditions of many, including me!