Bronchial asthma: airway inflammation

21 October 2017

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The air stays away, exhaling hard and you have to constantly coughing - People with asthma know the symptoms from personal experience. But what asthma actually exactly and how does an asthma attack?

In bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The inflamed bronchial tubes are particularly sensitive to normally harmless substances such as pollen, animal hair, certain medications or physical exertion. 

The contact with these stimuli triggers in asthmatics three reactions out: 

A graphical representation of the airways in asthma.

During an asthma attack, the muscles of the airways and bronchi tense form much thick mucus. This leads to the typical asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in Childhood: In Germany, about ten percent of children and five percent of adults affected by asthma. In children, asthma is predominantly allergic conditionally - and even in adults are allergens as triggers of asthma are not uncommon.

At about 30 to 50 percent of adult asthmatics, however, is a so-called non-allergic Asthma before - here are often respiratory infections such as colds or flu, the cause of the discomfort. Other triggers include:

Asthma is not just asthma

Who listens asthma, it usually thinks bronchial asthma - that is a chronic inflammatory disease of the bronchial system. In addition to the bronchial asthma, there are still the so-called cardiac asthma, what colloquially called "cardiac asthma" referred to as. In cardiac asthma is a pumping weakness of the left ventricle. Thus, the blood accumulates in the lungs and leads to a liquid outlet in the lung tissue. As a result, breathlessness and primarily nocturnal cough.

To ensure accurate bronchial asthma diagnosis to ask the doctor takes the patient's medical history (anamnesis) and examines the affected physically. He analyzed the lung using a pulmonary function tests and clarifies possible allergies. Is the trigger for asthma are known (for example, dust, pet allergies, cigarette smoke), it is important to avoid this as much as possible.

Bronchial asthma: airway inflammation

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Bronchial asthma is not curable. With geeignten drugs and - if possible - of avoiding the triggers the disease, however, can easily be controlled. Usually the doctor prescribes a asthma spray for inhalation, rarely tablets or capsules. The active substance passes when inhaled directly into the respiratory tract and strain the body very little. 

A basic distinction in asthma therapy between two treatments:

In an acute asthma attack, it is important that airways widen as soon as possible. For this, the person takes short-acting beta-2-sympathomimetic - for example fenoterol or salbutamol. these so-called "bronchodilators" relax within a few minutes the cramped bronchial and thus ensure that the airways to expand again.

Long-term medication attenuate inflammation in the airways, so acute symptoms or asthma attacks do not arise. Asthmatics need to take these drugs for a longer period of time on a regular basis. Particularly effective have it Cortisone preparations and Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist proved. 

By the age of 14 years, boys have more frequent asthma than girls. However, in sick girls, the risk is higher that they still have as an adult asthma symptoms. In about half of all infants asthma symptoms disappear with puberty. However, the airways remain throughout life hypersensitive, so that at any time, an asthma attack occur again.


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