What is Bronchial Asthma?
Bronchial asthma is the chronic inflammation and swelling of the bronchial mucous membrane which leads to an increased formation of mucus. Causes for the inflammation and swelling of the bronchial mucous membrane in asthma can be allergy causing substances, unspecific irritants such as smoke, cold air or pathogenic germs. The chronic inflammation in asthma stimulates nerve endings and causes spasms of the bronchial musculature. As a result, the supply of air to and from the lungs is decreased or stopped causing shortness of breath.
Commonness of Asthma
Along with bronchitis, asthma is the most common respiratory illness. Ca. 5% of adults and ca. 10% of children have asthma.
Symptoms of Asthma
Varying degrees of symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, accompanied by coughing and a production of thick mucus. Exhalation is particularly affected in such a way that a prolonged phase of forced exhalation leads to wheezing (rhonchus) and buzzing sounds which are caused by an increase in the airflow noises. A dry cough is also usually a symptom.
Causes of Asthma
There are two main types of bronchial asthma:
- Allergic asthma: Allergic asthma is most commonly triggered by the inhalation of mites, pollen and mould.
- Non-allergic asthma: Infections, physical strain, environment stimuli such as cold air, mental factors such as stress or substances that irritate the respiratory tract usually trigger this type of asthma.
Both types of asthma usually appear together.
Treatment for Asthma
- Avoidance of the allergic and non-allergic stimuli: Avoiding factors that trigger asthma is a simple and effective therapy.
- Pharmacological therapy of asthma with:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Anti-allergic medication
- Breathing therapy: On the one hand the breathing therapy strengthens the breathing muscles thereby improving breathing altogether and, on the other hand, teaches special breathing techniques to those affected by asthma.
- Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training also have a positive effect on asthma.
The Allergy and Asthma Cure: A Complete 8-Step Nutritional Program,
Fred Pescatore M.D
Asthma for Dummies