This post is the third in a series taken from the article by Keith Wassung entitled “Asthma and Chiropractic: A Research Review”. This series focuses on Asthma, the epidemic, the anatomy of an asthma attack, conventional treatment, and chiropractic care. This week’s post looks at conventional asthma treatment.

Conventional treatment includes the use of bronchodilators, steroids and allergy desensitization shots to ease the symptoms of asthma and although no one would disagree with the appropriate use of medicine in controlling asthma, there is mounting research to suggest that serious problems often result with their usage.

“A focus on bronchodilators as the only therapy is inappropriate. It is symptomatic therapy that has nothing to do with the healing process.” 7
– Dr. Michael Kaliner, Head of Allergic Disease Section, National Institute of Health

“People with asthma breathed a sigh of relief with the advent of inhaled steroids in the early 1990s. Thousands of people take high dosages daily in regimes that may last a lifetime. New research indicates that inhaled steroids may have an unsuspecting dark side. A study of nearly 50,000 elderly people in Canada found that prolonged use of inhaled steroids markedly increases a person’s risk of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.” 8

Asthma inhaler

“Our approach to asthma has been woefully inadequate and misguided, our medications have worsened the condition over the long term, and few of our doctors have developed the kind of comprehensive programs that emphasize healing and prevention.” 9
– Dr. Firshein, Reversing Asthma

“Two recent studies conducted in Canada and New Zealand suggests that asthma patients who rely on inhaled beta-agonist dilators run twice the risk of dying. By opening airways that are normally constricted in an asthma attack, bronchodilators might actually expose the lungs to more of the substances that damage them, hurtling the asthmatic individual down a dangerous spiral.” 10

The focus of medical science is beginning to shift away from attempts to contain the symptoms of asthma to exploring the controlling mechanism as a means of solving and preventing asthma and related respiratory conditions.


  1. Jordan, D. The Asthma Epidemic,
  2. Sternberg, S. (1997, March 8). Breathing freely threatens seeing clearly. Science News.
  3. Firshein, R. Reversing Asthma. Warner Books
  4. Marantz-Hening. (1993, March 28). Asthma kills. New York Times Magazine.