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                Why asthma occurs

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Up | Anatomy lungs | Why asthma occurs | Asthma symptoms | Triggers of asthma | Asthma attack | Asthma diagnosis | Goals asthma therapy | Signs worsening asthma | Management asthma | Asthma children

How and why asthma occurs

 

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Asthma patients have hyper responsive airways (bronchi) and have tendency to accumulate inflammatory cells around there airways. When exposed to triggering factors, these inflammatory cells burst, releasing chemicals which act on hyper reactive airways causing:

  • Constriction of airways (narrowing) due to tightening (spasms) of muscles  of airways.

  • Inflammation and swelling of the walls of airways occur, further narrowing the constricted airways.

  • Clogging of airways with sticky mucus leading to near total occlusion .

 

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This in turn lead to typical symptoms of asthma.

                          Role of inflammation

                                    Triggers         

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Physical exertion and exercise is a trigger for 8 out of 10 people with asthma.

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Cold air is a trigger for 6 out of 10 people with asthma.

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Colds and viruses are triggers for 8 out of 10 people with asthma.

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Cigarette smoke & smoky places are triggers for 7 out of 10 people with  asthma.

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Air pollution is a trigger for 4 out of 10 people with asthma.

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Pollen is a trigger for 5 out of 10 people with asthma.      

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House dust is a trigger for 7 out of 10 people with asthma.   

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Fur or feathers from pets are triggers for 8 out of 10 people with asthma.     

                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                   

   Inflammation                                            Bronchial hyper-reactivity

  • Inflammatory cells accumulate around airways,                     Bronchi of asthma patients are hyper reactive to triggers

  • they burst, release chemical mediators ,

  • which act on hyper reactive airways of asthma patients,

  • causing their constriction, inflammation, swelling, and impaction with mucus secretions.

                                                                             

                                                      Symptoms

  • Cough, with a noisy character.

  • Wheezing. ( noisy respiration with whistling sounds)

  • Tightness in the chest.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Disturbed sleep.

  • Breathlessness while exercising.

Relationship between inflammation, bronchial hyper responsiveness & symptoms in asthma.

 

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