Cardiac asthma is not a form of asthma. It's a type of coughing or wheezing that occurs with left heart failure. Depending on how severe the symptoms are, this wheezing can be a medical emergency.
Heart failure can cause fluid to build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and in and around the airways. This can cause shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing similar to the signs and symptoms of asthma.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The most common findings of cardiac asthma are the presence of
- Shortness of breath (predominantly occurring at night or when laying down) in a patient that possesses signs of congestive heart failure.
- Additional findings consist of production of frothy or watery sputum and presence of water in the lungs that can be heard via stethoscope.
- In severe cases, a patient can experience multiple night time episodes of breathlessness, changes in skin coloration, and episodes of bloody sputum.
The diagnosis of cardiac asthma is accomplished through workup of congestive heart failure, complete with:
- Evaluation of current symptoms with specific consideration of chronological progression or worsening.
- Past Medical History screen with consideration for conditions that predispose to heart failure, such as prior heart attack, history of coronary revascularization, high blood pressure, or diabetes (heart).
- Physical Exam with emphasis on listening for abnormalities of heart sound, abnormalities of lung sound, or presence of increased fluid retention in neck or in extremities.
- Laboratory Evaluation with specific interest in B-type natriuretic peptide levels.
- Electrocardiography to evaluate for irregularities in heart rhythm
- Chest Radiograph to evaluate for presence of lung congestion or increased heart size.
- Echocardiography to evaluate heart function. Echocardiography is the preferred choice for diagnosis of heart failure in patients.
As well as evaluation of lung function via:
Pulmonary function testing (PFT) complete with Broncho provocation testing. PFTs represent the preferred method for evaluating for bronchial asthma.
Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When asthma is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy, but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient, considering mental and physical symptoms.
Crataegus: Asthmatic persons having a failing heart and high blood pressure. Extreme dyspnea, heart dilated.
Aurum Met: Cardiac asthma, with dyspnea and when breathing involves the heart.
Digitalis: Is a leading remedy for cardiac asthma. Sudden cessation of respiration. Troublesome choking sensation with cough. Stiches in heart with irregular beat.
Cactus G: Periodical attacks of suffocation, with fainting, cold perspiration on the face and loss of pulse; sensation as if a cord were tightly bound around the lower part of the chest. Oppression and palpitation, preventing lying down; congestion of blood in the chest. Sensation as if the heart and chest are squeezed by a vice. Attacks coming towards 11 A.M. Amelioration in open air.