What Is Bronchial Asthma? Symptoms And Treatments

When someone talks about the term bronchial asthma, he/she is probably talking about a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that can cause night attacks of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Allergies are usually strongly linked to asthma and to other respiratory diseases such as chronic sinusitis, middle ear infections and nasal polyps. The recent analysis of people with asthma showed that those who had both allergies and asthma have much more problems like night time awakening due to bronchial asthma, they have to miss work because of asthma and this condition require more powerful medications in order to control these symptoms.

bronchial asthma diagramAsthma is often associated with mast cells, eosinophils and with the T lymphocytes. The mast cells are cells that can cause allergy and they can release chemicals like histamine that can cause nasal stuffiness. Histamine is the substance that causes this nasal stuffiness and dripping in a cold or hay fever, constriction of airways in asthma and itchy areas in a skin allergy. As we said asthma is associated also with the eosinophils and T lymphocytes too. The eosinophils are a type of blood cell associated with allergic disease and the T lymphocytes are white blood cells associated with allergy and inflammation.

The mast cells, eosinophils and the T lymphocytes along with the other inflammatory cells are involved in the development of airway inflammation in asthma that contributes to the airway hyper responsiveness, airflow limitation, respiratory symptoms and chronic disease. In some people, the inflammation can result in chest tightness and breathlessness that’s felt often at night (nocturnal asthma) or in the early morning hours. Others feel symptoms when they exercise (called exercise-induced asthma). Because of the inflammation, there is an obstruction in the airways and they can response as a result of specific triggers.

Bronchial asthma- Triggers

If you are wondering what are the triggers of bronchial asthma here are some of them that you can look through:

  • Smoking as a first trigger along with secondhand smoking
  • Infections like colds, flu or pneumonia
  • Allergies from foods, pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander
  • Exercise
  • Air pollution and other toxins
  • Extreme changes in the temperature
  • Drugs like aspirin and beta-blockers
  • Food additives
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Singing, laughing, crying
  • Perfumes
  • Acid reflux

Symptoms and Signs of Bronchial Asthma

With bronchial asthma you may have one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Breath shortness
  • Tightness of chest
  • Wheezing
  • Excessive coughing or a cough that keeps you awake at night

Few steps to diagnose bronchial asthma

Symptoms do not always happen during your doctor’s appointment. You have to know that it is very important for you or for your child how you will describe your symptoms to your health care provider. You have to know when the symptoms occur such as during exercise, with a cold or after smelling smoke. The asthma tests include:

Spirometry- it is a lung function test to measure breathing capacity and how well you breathe. This test is all about breathing into a device called spirometer. The spirometer measures your lung’s capacity to move air in and out of the lungs. All specific measurements are compared to measurements of healthy people that are same race, age, gender, height and weight.

Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) – using a device called peak flow meter; you forcefully exhale into the tube to measure the force of air you can expend out of your lungs. The peak flow monitoring can allow you to monitor how well your asthma is doing at home.

Chest X-ray- Along with all the other tests your doctor may do a chest X-ray to rule out any other diseases that may be causing similar symptoms.

Treatment and self-care

The asthma treated with anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator asthma inhalers, oral medications, asthma drugs delivered in an asthma nebulizer or breathing machine. In order to get a better understanding of how asthma medications work so you’ll know which medications can prevent asthma symptoms. You can also learn more about the natural asthma remedies and ways to monitor you’re breathing at home. There are many ways to treat asthma, medications, asthma nebulizer, treatment plans, but the best way to treat it is to find a way that makes you feel better at home. The bronchodilators and the breathing machine will help you feel better and the can stop the asthma attack, but they will not prevent it from never happening again.

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