Botox as an Asthma Treatment

asthma botox

Although BOTOX Cosmetic® is primarily used as a cosmetic injectable to treat fine lines and wrinkles, it also has a slew of medical uses. Due to its muscle-relaxant qualities, Botox is frequently used to counteract migraine headaches, excessive sweating, and muscle spasms. Now, recent studies at Monash University in Australia have suggested that Botox may also be helpful in the treatment of severe asthma.

Asthma currently affects over twenty million Americans. It’s usually diagnosed in children, but can develop later in life. Asthma is a disorder that’s characterized by constricted airways, which causes difficulty breathing. Symptoms of asthma also include coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Asthma is a constant condition, but is usually triggered by exercise, food allergens, or even cold weather. People who suffer from severe asthma may find that their daily activities are limited by their condition: walking on an incline could pose a risk for a rise in symptoms, or too much time spent in freezing temperatures could trigger an asthma attack, or an acute exacerbation.

The core symptoms of asthma occur in the lungs. But for severe asthma suffers, those symptoms may actually travel up into their throats. “We have always wondered about why people with severe asthma would come in and say, 'My asthma is terrible,’ and would point to their throats,” Professor Phil Bardin of the Monash Medical Center told the Associated Press.

For some asthmatics, the voicebox experiences spasms, which further closes up airways. Most asthma medications target the lungs, so the throat is left untreated. Since Botox works by relaxing muscles, injecting it into throat could loosen and open up the airways, allowing for easier breathing. If Botox is approved as an effective asthma treatment, severe asthmatics will have a new choice in their asthma treatments.

"We don't think this will cure these asthmatics but it will help them to live better with asthma," said Bardin. “They won't have asthma symptoms which make them unable to walk far or go up stairs or when their chest tightens up they think they are going to die. It will help them live with an illness that disables them."

Botox is already used for a similar condition involving the voicebox called vocal cord dysphonia, which is when the voicebox experiences uncontrollable spasms from overuse. The Botox calms the spasms, and researchers hope that it’ll do the same for asthma symptoms.

If you’d like to learn more about Botox usages or to schedule a free consultation with a Botox specialist in your area.

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