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Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Asthma
By Natalie on Wednesday, October 13, 1999 - 12:03 pm:

My three year old boy has had asthma since he was one and a half. Most of the time, it's under control but when he gets a cold, it seems to worsen. No one else in the family had asthma as children, though I have had mild asthma since last summer. Our boy had to spend a week at Hiroo Hospital when he had asthma/pneumonia. The nurses were great (though no one spoke English) but the doctors were difficult to get hold of and they didn't like to answer questions. Can anyone recommend a doctor who works with children with asthma and who speaks English?

By David Williams on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 5:08 pm:

Hello Natalie,
You could try Dr. Sonobe -Peadiatric Dept. at the Red Cross Hospital in Tokyo (He speaks pretty good English).

Our daughter, Lurina, now 19 months, started suffering from asthma a couple of months ago, but her condition has improved since seeing Dr. Sonobe.

You can mention my name - David Williams
Please e-mail me if you wish.

By david williams on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 5:20 pm:

If you're not able to e-mail me, you can ring me on my mobile initially. 0909-690-3780 David

By charlieb on Saturday, April 22, 2000 - 11:25 am:

There are some good physical training programs that can be of great help for people with asthma. Various stretching and balance exercises really seem to help people. If you want more info I could get you started in the right direction. Also, in many instances, hypnotherapy has proven quite good as a way of lessening or doing away with the effects of asthma. I have worked successfully with three different people in this regard, and although each person is different, learning how to relax more fully seems to help quite a lot.


By Pato on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 7:37 am:

Time Magazine 29 July 2003
"Too Much Hygiene"
Cleaner is not always better, according to a report published in Archives of Disease in Childhood. A study at the University of Bristol, England, followed 11,000 kids for more than 3 years. Researchers found that young children who were bathed or washed more than twice a day were more likely to have severe eczema or asthma, suggesting that too much cleanliness inhibits a child's natural immune responses to everyday bacteria.

By Cornelia on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 3:19 am:

Lecture offered at Bunkyo City Hall building B1. There is space for 50 people so please make your reservation by calling 03-5803-1225. No charge.

26 June from 13:30 - 16:30
given by Dr. Nagata of Juntendo University (which is at Ochanomizu station)...
Topic 1: Treatment of Children Who Have Asthma

Topic 2: Exercises for Breathing from the Diaphragm (Exercises for Asthmatics) These are not helpful for small children who can not understand the instructions.

Basically it is about the renewed Asthma guidelines (first guidelines were published 2000 and the renewed ones are now about 1.5 years old (2002), both issued by Japan Childhood Allergies Congress (Nihon Shoni Allergy Gakai).

The lecture would be given in Japanese only. I realize I'm posting this very late, too late for anyone to take advantage of it, but I get this kind of thing in the mail from time to time. It demonstrates how the government provides opportunities for parents' education.

By Cornelia on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 3:53 pm:

Hi, my post this morning about the lecture at Bunkyo Ward City Hall completely mis-announced the topic. I have made corrections and moved it to this Asthma conversation. The lecture topic is about Chlildhood asthma. I also mistook the date as being today (when it is in fact in June). That should teach me not to try to posting coherently when I really should be going to bed.

There is a Bunkyo-ku program for asthmatic children at the swimming pool. Swimming is considered really good exercise for maximizing lung capacity. To find out about this program contact the same place in the National Health Insurance administration section inside the city hall where you picked up the special Asthma supplemental health coverage for your asthmatic child. If you haven't done this yet, then it takes a form filled out by the pediatrician and an interview at the ward office. Then the application is reviewed by a committe that meets once a month, and, if approved, is made retroactively available back to the application date.

(This is called Zensoku no Iryouken by me, because the long and correct way is way over my head).

Probably the same phone number as posted above (5803-1225) will get you there, at least in Bunkyo-ku. The program seems to run (the letter is sent to children with this insurance coverage) in the Spring and in the Autumn. The next course begins 2 September (Thursdays) and switches to Wednesdays in October. The program is also metioned in the ward newsletter (published once a month). Each program runs 8 weeks, once a week. It is open to applicants up to completion of 3rd grade. From 4th grade on there is an asthma camp program available. Both these programs are free. Nurse, doctor, swimming instructors, etc. all provided.

Your kid cannot get into this program unless covered under this special insurance (which is free, you just have to go through the application process).

Toshima-ku (Tokyo) has a similar program. Probably they exist in many wards with some variations in administration and so on.

By Sraboni Dutta on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 4:07 pm:

Can anybody recommend me a good Asthma specialist in Tokyo for my 5 year old son? I am looking for somebody who speaks a little bit of English and accepts NHI.
I live in Meguro, Tokyo.


By Shibuya on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 4:36 pm:

I have been lucky to meet a wonderful doctor at Hiroo Byoin. Her name is Dr. Yokouchi, a pediatrician, specializing in asthma. Her English is great and she has always taken the time to explain things to me very thoroughly. I never liked Hiroo hospital before, but after an emergency trip there a year ago, for my daughter's previously undiagnosed asthma, I don't want to go anywhere else.
Hope your son stays healthy, Sraboni!

By Ava on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 8:24 pm:

I'm looking for a nebulizer. My son has asthma and we have been to 2 doctors here with no help. anyway, i'm willing to pay a little for the aparatus and of course i would pay for the takyubin. Anyone who has and no longer needs it or anyone who knows where i can purchase it. thanks.

By Cornelia on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 2:30 am:

Dear Ava (and anyone else in the same shoes),
If you have NHI, (and especially if you have the additional asthma protection available in Tokyo) then your nebulizer will be provided for your child "on loan". My pediatrician arranged for us to get one after a couple of years (I don't think it was available in such a compact package previously and another consideration might have been my child's age and ability to use the nebulizer "unsupervised" though I don't think so, since kid's learn pretty quickly even at a very young age what's going to work). It's amazing. My daughter knows how to put the the meds in by herself, so she can use it if necessary even when I am not on hand. If you have private insurance I'm sure you can still get one. You just have to pay out of pocket for it. If you've gone to a couple of doctors who are uninformed, then try our pediatrician. But hurry, she is closing her practice in order to take care of her mother-in-law. Her last day will be near the end of December. I've written all about her under the Doctors: Pediatricians section. Here is a photo of the nebulizer in action (2004 March):
to see picture go to

By Ava on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 3:24 pm:

Thanks for the info.
but i live quite far from tokyo.
yesterday i was kinda frustrated already. And i just thought of quiting going to the doctors since all the doctors i went to said the same thing which was to wait until the body`s immune system fights away the disease. And i also notice there are very few doctors here in japan and they are mostly general doctors.I hardly see pedia doctors with specialization. Anyway, Thanks so much for the info..


By Janine Boyd on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 5:18 pm:

I also live out in the country side of Japan and have had my father visit us in the various seasons with worry that exposure to the different pollens might set off his asthma, so I was prepared to rent a nebuliser to be extra cautious. I approached a local asthma clinic with this idea and they were quite insistent that I did not need to pay any money. I borrowed the nebuliser for a full month and returned it cleaned with a big bag of osenbei rice crackers for the nurses and everyone was pleased. They have continued to loan it out to me over the years at no charge to coinicide with my Dad's visits. I may have just been lucky but it's worth a try to ask about renting one. The one they loaned me was not the latest model but it still worked as well. Perhaps you will be as lucky, or will be able to rent one for a period of time while you find one. You can only ask.

By Cornelia on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 10:07 pm:

Dear Ava, I don't know where you live, and I have heard/read reports that there is a shortage of pediatricians in some more rural ares of Japan. However, if you can make a phone call to Tokyo, there is a service to help you find a doctor. Sometimes there is a doctor not so far away that will be helpful, but because one does not speak or read Japanese it is hard to find him/her. Please read this discussion:
Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Doctors: Finding Foreign Language Speaking Doctors

Possibly the service can also help find a pediatrician even if he/she does not speak any foreign languages.

By Ava on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 5:47 am:

hi cornelia,
thanks again for the reply.
anyway, i live in chiba ken sakura shi. i would like to try my luck and go to tokyo with my son but i will be needing the exact location of the nearest hospital in tokyo from chiba ken. thanks so much for the help.


By Ava on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 9:40 am:

hi again cornelia,
this may sound funny but i would like to know where i can buy a nebulizer just like yours.
i am looking for a nebulizer at ebay but it will probably take time before it will arrive in japan so i am thinking if you could tell me where i could avail such apparatus. thanks..

By Admin on Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 10:50 am:

Re: 2005 Sep 23 post above
handheld nebulizer
cost Y30,000
Here are the OMRON web site links, one in English and one in Japanese
In Japanese:
"Vibrating mesh nebulizer utilizes ultrasonic vibration though it is totally different method from "cavitation" nebulizer. Nebulizing unit is composed by horn transducer and mesh plate. Horn transducer generates ultrasonic vibration and the mesh plate has 7,000 holes approximately. Medication between top of the horn transducer and the mesh plate is pushed out from each hole of mesh plate by horn vibration and is nebulized. Since this vibrating mesh nebulization requires low power consumption, temperature rise and negative effect to medication are not reported in this method though they are possible to be seen in "cavitation" ultrasonic nebulizer.
This method is adopted in Omron NE-U22. Since NE-U22 is smaller than other kind of nebulizers and can be operated by AA battery, a user can travel with the unit easily and inhale anytime and anywhere. Since its residual volume in medication bottle is less than 0.1 ml, only 0.3 ml medication can be nebulized alone."

If you are enrolled in National Health Insurance and using the local system, your kid may get the nebulizer gratis of the insurance.

By Paulestacio on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 2:58 pm:

my son is 1 1/2 yrs old and he was diagnosed to have an asthma, is anyone knows where i can buy a saline water for inhalation therapy, this is needed as his maintenance medicine. may i add also that teishin hospital in iidabashi in tokyo where my son was confined is a good hospital, in pedia section most of the doctors speaks english fairly..thanks,

By Sandy on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 3:30 pm:

There's a discussion about where to find saline solution or how to make it at home, at:

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