Asthma in Teens and Adults
A new treatment called bronchial thermoplasty is available for adults with severe asthma. For this treatment, Reference bronchoscopy Opens New Window is used to apply heat to the airways. This reduces the thickness of the airways and improves the ability to breathe.Reference 16, Reference 17
For some people, allergy shots reduce asthma symptoms and the need for medicines.Reference 20 But allergy shots don't work equally well for all allergens. Allergy shots should not be given when asthma is poorly controlled.
Some people have used Reference ephedra—a stimulant sold for weight loss and sports performance—to try to treat asthma symptoms. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the sale of this dietary supplement because of concerns about safety. Ephedra, also called ma huang, has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and some deaths.
Other complementary medicine
Alternative treatments such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and breathing exercises have been used to treat asthma. The research on these treatments is limited. Reviews of research show:Reference 21, Reference 22
- No evidence to support using Reference homeopathy, air ionizers, Reference manual therapy, or Reference acupuncture Opens New Window for asthma.
- A possible but not clearly established role for using Reference antioxidants Opens New Window.
- That breathing exercises practiced in Reference yoga may improve lung function.
A review of complementary and alternative treatments for treating asthma in children concluded that none have been proved to reduce asthma symptoms and some may have harmful side effects.Reference 23 Some of these studies included teenagers and adults. The treatments reviewed include:
- Herbal products such as ivy leaf, Reference butterbur, and Tylophora indica (T. indica).
- Dietary supplements such as fatty acids and Reference probiotics.
- Reference Homeopathy.
- Procedures such as Reference acupuncture, Reference massage therapy, Reference chiropractic, Reference osteopathy, Reference hypnosis, and Reference biofeedback.
Talk to your doctor before trying a complementary or alternative treatment.
For more information on alternative treatments, see the topic Reference Complementary Medicine.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology