What Are The Causes and Symptoms Of Bronchial Asthma?

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What is Bronchial Asthma? What are the causes, symptoms, complications and prevention of Bronchial Asthma? Information on Bronchial Asthma.

What Are The Causes and Symptoms Of Bronchial Asthma?

Asthma of any kind is really a symptom, not a disease.

Bronchial asthma is an illness caused by the reaction of the bronchi to some irritating substance which the patient has inhaled. The attacks occur irregularly, and are marked by wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath. They usually follow exposure to air-borne pollen, animal hairs, house dust, fungi, or vegetable dusts. Many people are also allergic to their own infections.

Bronchial asthma is quite common, affects both sexes equally, and tends to run in families. When it is caused by a specific pollen, it occurs during the season of growth of that particular plant.

Attacks of bronchial asthma can be of varying degrees of severity, lasting from minutes to days. If there is no accompanying infection of the sinuses or lungs, the patient can be quite comfortable between attacks. If there is an accompanying infection, he will have symptoms associated with the particular area of infection.

An attack of bronchial asthma is likely to start at night with a sudden shortness of breath and coughing. The exhaling of air becomes difficult and the patient gasps for breath. Sometimes by sitting up he can use his abdominal and neck muscles to breathe in air more easily. His wheeze is loud and plain to hear. His cough starts out dry but later produces large amounts of stringy mucus. In severe attacks he may become cyanotic, a condition in which the body turns blue because it is suffering from lack of sufficient fresh oxygen. Coma may result.

Chronic lung disease—such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and bronchiectasis—are frequently long-term results of asthma.
The most successful means used by the doctor in dealing with bronchial asthma is to remove the cause or causes of the allergy. This includes correction of infections and removal of any associated nasal growths or polyps or mechanical obstructions. Filtration systems to remove air-borne pollens are sometimes helpful. Allergy covers for bedding are readily available. Some patients profit by desensitization by injection. In this procedure the patient is given increasing doses of the offending material until, it is hoped, his body builds up a tolerance for it and no longer rejects it by way of an asthmatic attack.

When the primary cause of an infection is identified, bacterial vaccines can be used with some success. Patients allergic to their own infections are sometimes successfully desensitized.

Medications for the prevention and treatment of this illness are available and will be prescribed by the physician.

***This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a doctor warning or recommendation.

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