Bronchial Asthma – Symptoms and Causes of Bronchial Asthma

Author: peterhutch
Asthma is a chronic condition (generally associated with humans but also controversially being diagnosed in housepets such as cats) involving the respiratory system in which the airway occasionally constricts, becomes inflamed, and is lined with excessive amounts of mucus, often in response to one or more triggers. These episodes may be triggered by such things as exposure to an environmental stimulant (or allergen) such as cold air, warm air, perfume, moist air, exercise or exertion, or emotional stress. In children, the most common triggers are viral illnesses such as those that cause the common cold.This airway narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. The airway constriction responds to bronchodilators.

Bronchial asthma is one of the most common illnesses in children. Factors influencing development of asthma have not been studied in rural population. The attack of bronchial asthma mainly comes on in the early morning when the patient suddenly wakes up with a feeling of apprehension and alarm. He sits up as the breathing suddenly becomes very difficult while he is lying down. He may rush to open the window to take fresh air in, as it becomes difficult to breathe in a closed room. The attack may last for a few hours or in some cases for few days before it subsides, and, in the early stages of the disease, the patient feels normal after the attack. In case of chronic asthmma the patient acquires a typical asthmatic look - a pale face and an emaciated (very thin and malnutritioned) body.

Symptoms of Bronchial Asthma
Primarily, asthma is manifested by a sudden or prolonged onset of airway narrowing, which accounts for the varying degrees of airway obstruction and accompanying sensation of an inability to breathe in and, more importantly, to breathe out; these symptoms herald hyperinflation. The total lung capacity (TLC), functional residual capacity (FRC), and residual volume (RV) increase.

Symptoms can occur spontaneously or can be triggered by respiratory infections cold air, tobacco smoke or other pollutants, stress or anxiety, or by food allergies or drug allergies. The muscles of the bronchial tree become tight and the lining of the air passages become swollen, reducing airflow and producing the wheezing sound. Mucus production is increased.

Except in severe cases, symptoms are occasional. The duration and severity of asthma symptoms vary greatly from time to time and from patient to patient. The symptoms may be intermittent, and they can last just a few minutes or days. In severe cases, symptoms may be constant and persistent.

Asthma symptoms can be brought on by dozens of different things, and what causes asthma flare-ups in one person might not bother another at all. The things that set off asthma symptoms are called triggers.

Causes of Bronchial Asthma
Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swell. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by, and can lead to wheezing sounds.

Exposure to a variety of occupational irritants (e.g., vapors, dust, gases, fumes, tobacco smoke, air pollution) also can worsen or cause asthma.
Research on genetic mutations casts further light on the synergistic nature of multiple mutations in the path physiology of asthma, particularly as it is related to the role of platelet-activating factor hydrolyses, an intrinsic neutralizing agent of platelet-activating factor in most humans (ALA Utah, 2000).
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