Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by recurrent dyspnea and wheezing, the severity and frequency of which vary from person to person.

Symptoms can occur multiple times a day or week, and some people exacerbate symptoms during exercise or at night.

Asthma attack
The inner wall of the bronchi swells during an asthma attack, causing narrowing of the airways and reducing lung ventilation. Recurrent asthma symptoms often cause insomnia, fatigue during the day, decreased activity, and absence from school and absenteeism.

The greatest risk factor for asthma is a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure (inhalation of substances and particles that may induce an allergic reaction or stimulate the airways), such as:

Indoor allergens (such as household dust mites in bedding, carpets and plush furniture, pollution and pet dander)
Outdoor allergens (such as pollen and mould)
Tobacco smoke
Chemical irritants in the workplace
Air pollution
Other inducements can include cold air, extreme emotions such as anger or fear, and physical exercise. Even certain drugs can induce asthma: aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, and migraines).

One systematic review found a Chinese herbal medicine is diffusely used for patients with asthma. It has more advantages than single receptor chemicals in treating asthma with multicomponent and multitarget therapy.

Another systematic review found conventional treatments plus acupuncture are associated with significant benefits for adult and adolescent patients with asthma.

Chen G, Chen Y, Chen Z, et al. Sanao decoction for asthma: Protocol of a systematic review. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019;98(18):e15313. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000015313

Jiang C, Jiang L, Qin Q. Conventional Treatments plus Acupuncture for Asthma in Adults and Adolescent: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019;2019:9580670. Published 2019 Jan 17. doi:10.1155/2019/9580670