ASTHMA AND BRONCHITIS
Pulmonary Disorders: Asthma & Bronchitis
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Pulmonary Disorder: Asthma
Asthma is a clinical condition that is marked by an obstruction of air flow in the lungs. During asthma there are no problems with inspiration, but the expiration of air becomes difficult. It is an inflammatory disease and is marked by triad aetiology. These are airway inflammation, airway constriction and airway hyper-responsiveness. Asthma is triggered by certain substances that are called allergens. These allergens interact with immunoglobulin E receptors on the mast cells. The mast cells of an asthmatic individual are sensitised and produce hyper-response towards such allergens. They respond by liberation of histamine that acts on the smooth muscles of the bronchioles to cause airway constriction. Further, histamine may cause neutrophils and leukotrienes to invade the bronchioles, which leads to inflammation. All such actions cause the narrowing of bronchioles and trap the air inside the alveoli. Increased efforts are required to expel the air, out of the lungs. This causes hyperventilation symptoms of asthma (Gibson, McDonald & Marks, 2010).
Stages of Asthma
Asthma is classified according to the severity of symptoms and obstruction (Hargreave, & Parameswaran, 2006).
Severity Symptom frequency Night time symptoms %FEV1 predicted
Intermittent < 2 /weeks < 2 /month >80
Mild persistent >2/week 3-4/month >80
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