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How Does Asthma Impact The Respiratory System

Can Asthma Be Prevented

How Asthma Affects the Respiratory System

Asthma cant be prevented entirely, but there are some practical ways to reduce the risk of an asthma attack and live well with asthma.

  • Get vaccinated for influenza: flu and other respiratory viruses are common triggers for asthma.
  • Manage any allergies: asthma and allergies are closely linked, so treating allergic rhinitis and avoiding or managing any allergy triggers will help with your asthma.
  • Live smoke-free: quit smoking if you smoke, and avoid any second-hand smoke .
  • Eat well: a balanced diet helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese makes asthma harder to manage.
  • Care for yourself: mental health and asthma are linked, so let a trusted friend or your doctor know if you have been feeling sad or anxious, or dont enjoy things as much as before.
  • See your doctor regularly: asthma needs to be regularly assessed and managed, and your medication needs may change over time. Ensure your asthma action plan is up to date by checking in with your doctor regularly.

What Happens During Asthma Attacks

Again, its an abnormal immune response. Your immune system is âabnormallyâ trained to recognize one or more asthma trigger. When you are not exposed to them you will probably experience no symptoms at all. So, between attacks, most asthmatics feel no symptoms; their breathing is normal . However, when exposed to asthma triggers, your immune system abnormally recognizes these triggers as harmful and initiates an abnormal immune response.

What Part Of The Respiratory System Is Affected By Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 10s of thousands of people across the world. Although it isnt curable it is controllable. Asthma is the Greek word for pant or to breath hard. The Greeks named it asthma because of the wheezing sound which is diagnostic of the condition.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that arises from allergies or allergic responses in the lungs and is characterized by sudden attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction and coughing. So what part of the respiratory system does asthma affect?

The respiratory system supports the oxygen needs of the body by taking in air, removing the oxygen at the level of the alveoli and delivering the oxygen to the blood, which then transports the life supporting oxygen around the body. This is a continual system.

The air is exchanged constantly not just when you take air in. There are thousands of tiny air sacs that store the air and oxygen for use. The air is exchanged with each pass of the blood through the pulmonary system.

During an asthmatic event the muscles surrounding the air tubules constrict. This constriction doesnt allow the air in the alveoli to be released and the lungs become over inflated. This over inflation forces the sufferer to cough in an attempt to get rid of the trapped air.

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How Do Your Airways Work When You Have Asthma

When you have asthma, your airways aren’t able to function as well as they should.

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

Asthma causes inflammation, or swelling, in the lungs. It can also cause squeezing, called bronchoconstriction , and extra sensitive or twitchy airways.

When something bothers your airways, you have trouble breathing. This is;called an asthma attack or episode.;It gets harder to breathe because the tiny muscles around your airways squeeze tightly and they have swelling inside.

Your airways will make more mucus inside your airways, which makes it even harder to breathe. These changes in your airways can cause coughing and wheezing.

There is no cure for asthma. But you can take steps to manage it. If you have asthma, it’s important to see an asthma specialist, like an allergist or pulmonologist, to come up with the right asthma treatment plan. Medicines and avoiding asthma triggers can help reduce swelling and relax tight muscles in your airways.

ASTHMA Care for Adults

Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Asthma Effect On Respiratory System

The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases contributes to WHOs work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. GARD is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations and agencies from many countries committed to the vision of a world where all people breathe freely.

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How Smoking Affects The Alveoli

Smoking is an important risk factor for lung disease. Tobacco smoke affects the respiratory tract at every level. This includes the alveoli.

Cigarette smoke affects how the alveoli work. Smoke causes damage down to the molecular level. It disrupts your bodys ability to repair itself after an infection or trauma. If exposure to smoke continues, alveolar damage continues to worsen.

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Symptoms Of An Asthma Attack

Asthma attacks occur most often in the early morning hours when the effects of protective drugs wear off and the body is least able to prevent airway narrowing.

An asthma attack may begin suddenly with wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. At other times, an asthma attack may come on slowly with gradually worsening symptoms. In either case, people with asthma usually first notice shortness of breath, coughing, or chest tightness. The attack may be over in minutes, or it may last for hours or days. Itching on the chest or neck may be an early symptom, especially in children. A dry cough at night or while exercising may be the only symptom.

During an asthma attack, shortness of breath may become severe, creating a feeling of severe anxiety. The person instinctively sits upright and leans forward, using the muscles in the neck and chest to help in breathing, but still struggles for air. Sweating is a common reaction to the effort and anxiety. The heart rate usually quickens, and the person may feel a pounding in the chest.

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Immune Profile In Asthmatic Children

Figure 2. Respiratory viruses that infect upper and lower respiratory airways causing inflammatory response and exacerbating allergic asthma in children. When infectious agents such as viruses or allergens bind to their respective receptors on the surface of epithelial cells, they activate downstream signals. Upon these agents entering in asthma predisposed individuals, there is an increased tendency to produce proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-25, IL-33, or TSLP by epithelial cells. ILC2 are directly activated to produce IL-5 and IL-13, whereas TH2 cells are activated by DCs. Viral RNA or DNA can be detected by host nucleic acid receptors which help produce IFN-/ and promote anti-viral TH1 cells producing IFN-. Dysregulated antiviral response can lead to neutrophil degranulation, NETosis and exacerbation of mild or moderate responses to severe form of allergic asthma. Created with

Four Components Of Asthma Treatment

What is asthma? | Respiratory system diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy
  • The use of objective measures of lung functionspirometry, peak flow expiratory flow rateto access the severity of asthma, and to monitor the course of treatment.

  • The use of medication therapy designed to reverse and prevent the airway inflammation component of asthma, as well as to treat the narrowing airways.

  • The use of environmental control measures to avoid or eliminate factors that induce or trigger asthma flare-ups, including the consideration of immunotherapy.

  • Patient education that includes a partnership among the patient, family members, and the doctor.

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    What Is An Asthma Action Plan

    Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medicines. It also tells you what to do if your asthma gets worse and when to seek emergency care. Understand the plan and ask your healthcare provider about anything you dont understand.

    What Body System Does Asthma Affect


    Sensory neurons in the vagal ganglia moderate respiratory responses such as coughing, and earlier studies have shown that the nervous system modulates asthma symptoms. This allergy causes asthma-like symptoms: airway hyperreactivity and constriction of the airways.

    Also, can asthma cause other health problems? In rare cases, asthma can lead to a number of serious respiratory complications, including: pneumonia a collapse of part or all of the lung. respiratory failure, where the levels of oxygen in the blood become dangerously low, or the levels of carbon dioxide become dangerously high.

    Keeping this in view, how Does asthma affect the respiratory system and circulatory system?

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The disease manifests as recurrent attacks of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. During an asthma attack, the muscles surrounding the airways contract, limiting the amount of air supply to the lungs.

    Does asthma affect the brain?

    Asthma primarily affects the lungs, but can impact brain function through direct and indirect mechanisms. Some studies have suggested that asthma negatively impacts cognition, while others have failed to identify asthma-related cognitive compromise.

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    Breathing: Normal Airways Vs Asthma Airways

    Normal: In someone with optimal lung function, air is inhaled through the nose and mouth, passing through the trachea before moving into the bronchi . The bronchi branch into smaller tubes, ending in many small sacs called alveoli. Its in the alveoli that oxygen is passed to the blood and carbon dioxide is removed.

    Asthma: In someone with asthma, the airways are inflamed, and when triggered, can constrict even more, obstructing airflow to the lungs.

    How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

    Asthma Affects The Respiratory System In Which Way ...

    Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.

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    Medical History And Physical Exam

    Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your symptoms. They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.

    During the physical exam, your doctor may:

    • Listen to your breathing and look for symptoms of asthma
    • Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema

    Bronchial Asthma: A Complex Disease

    Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness to a series of allergens or irritants. Coexistence of airway inflammation and remodelling has led to the hypothesis that the disease is inflammatory in nature, although the relationship between the inflammatory process and AHR has not been consistently shown. For example, studies examined by Brusasco etâal. revealed that markers of inflammation correlated with AHR in no more than 50% of the cases. In addition, pharmacological interventions have shown that inflammation can be modified independently of AHR and vice versa. It is significant that, despite a multitude of studies on cellular and molecular lung biology and immunology, the precise pathogenesis of asthma still remains unknown. In this review, we examine the disease from a different perspective. Specifically, we suggest that the pathogenesis of asthma can be better understood if we start from the principle that the lung is a complex organ and any chronic disease affecting it will also become complex.

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    How Do You Fight Asthma Without An Inhaler

    Breathing techniques

  • Pursed lip breathing. If youre short of breath, do pursed lip breathing.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, expands the airways and chest.
  • Buteyko breathing. Buteyko breathing is a method thats used to slow down breathing.
  • Asthma: A Respiratory Tract Infection

    Asthma | Respiratory System 08 | Anatomy & Physiology

    By;;|;;Submitted On August 11, 2006

    Asthma is a disease which affects the respiratory system of the human organism. Asthma makes the airways more constrained and makes it more narrowed down through certain symptoms like wheezing, lack of proper breath, tightness of the chest and coughing, prolonged termination of breath, fast heart beat, chest inflation etc. Asthma is generally caused due to environmental pollution. Asthma reduces and constricts the airways as a result of which the patient suffers from normal way of breathing. The term “Asthma'” is usually a Greek word which means “sharp breath.”

    The symptoms of asthma can sometimes range from mild to severe life threatening. Moreover, it is to be estimated here that the symptoms of asthma can be solely controlled through the use of certain drugs and through changes in the life style. Asthma is generally caused by inflammation of breathing or the bronchial tubes which is present in the lungs. The most common cause of asthma is environmental pollution. Exposure to the environment of cotton and flour dust, smoke, smoke and to a wide range of chemicals further increases the risk of asthma. Generally, the most common symptom which is associated with asthma can be felt with the tightness sensation in the chest.

    All asthma patients need proper treatment and medical attention so that the intensity of the disease gets mild and also if possible are diagnosed forever and thus enable the patient to lead a healthy life.

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    How Is Asthma Classified

    Doctors rank how bad asthma is by its symptoms:

  • Mild intermittent asthma. Mild symptoms less than twice a week. Nighttime symptoms less than twice a month. Few asthma attacks.
  • Mild persistent asthma. Symptoms three to six times a week. Nighttime symptoms three to four times a month. Asthma attacks might affect activities.
  • Moderate persistent asthma. Daily asthma symptoms. Nighttime attacks five or more times a month. Symptoms may affect activities.
  • Severe persistent asthma. Ongoing symptoms both day and night. You have to limit your activities.
  • Your asthma may be getting worse if:

    • You have symptoms more often and they interfere more with your daily life.
    • You have a hard time breathing. You can measure this with a device called a peak flow meter.
    • You need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often.

    Physical Symptoms Of Asthma

    Asthma symptoms and severity vary substantially from person to person. Most people with asthma do not have symptoms constantly. Bothersome asthma symptoms can mean that asthma is not controlled sufficiently or that an acute asthma episode may be starting. Common asthma symptoms include:

    • Coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Awakening in the night from coughing or wheezing

    If you do not have asthma, you can help yourself imagine what it feels like to have an asthma episode:

  • Run in place for a minute or two, until you can feel your heart start to beat fast. Take a plastic drinking straw and put it in your mouth. Hold your nose closed and continue to breathe through the straw. OR
  • Take a deep breath in and hold it a moment. Now let out about a tenth of the air in your lungs. Breathe back in. Breathe out that same small amount of air. Breathe back in. Repeat until you can’t stand it anymore.
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    Common Terms Found In Medical Record Related To Asthma:

    Asthma exacerbation: It is nothing but an acute increase of symptoms in a person with asthma. This can be coded only with the Physician diagnosis.

    Status asthmatics : Another term for this is severe asthma exacerbation. It is considered as severe as this may lead to even respiratory failure due to hypoxemia. As soon as a patient comes to emergency room with asthma symptoms, physician treats initially with medicines such as bronchodilators. If patient has status asthmatics they do not respond to these medicines.

    Inhaler : Medicine filled inhalers are given to patient to use comfortably at any place when symptoms occurs suddenly.

    Nebulizer : Electricity powered machine filled with liquid medication which turns to mist and the patient breath in.

    Nasal spray : A bottle with liquid medicine made with the ease of spraying to nose.

    PFT : Pulmonary Function Test, use to check the lung function by measuring lung volume, capacity, rates of flow and gas exchange.

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    Microbial Components And Asthma

    Living with Asthma

    Despite the apparent instrumental role of endotoxins against atopy, as evidenced by the above-mentioned studies, literature has also established the negative effect these molecules possess. Endotoxins are important immune response inducers, as such, they have been implicated in the development of allergic diseases including asthma . Upon inhalation endotoxins are recognised by PRRs such as Toll-like receptor 4 . The lipid A portion of endotoxins drives the ensuing immune response by triggering a proinflammatory response characterised by cytokine production and cellular responses . In 1989 a study evaluating lung function following endotoxin exposure revealed a decrease in carbon monoxide diffusion, increased bronchial reactivity and a slight decrease in FEV1 , which are all key features of asthma. However, it has been suggested that responses observed following endotoxin exposure are dose dependent, with a low dose conferring protection to infections and a high dose capable of eliciting a detrimental response such as septic shock . It is therefore clear that the interaction between genetics and environmental factors plays an influential role on the outcomes of allergic responses.

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    What Are The Treatments For Asthma

    If you have asthma, you will work with your health care provider to create a treatment plan. The plan will include ways to manage your asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. It will include

    • Strategies to avoid triggers. For example, if tobacco smoke is a trigger for you, you should not smoke or allow other people to smoke in your home or car.
    • Short-term relief medicines, also called quick-relief medicines. They help prevent symptoms or relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They include an inhaler to carry with you all the time. It may also include other types of medicines which work quickly to help open your airways.
    • Control medicines. You take them every day to help prevent symptoms. They work by reducing airway inflammation and preventing narrowing of the airways.

    If you have a severe attack and the short-term relief medicines do not work, you will need emergency care.

    Your provider may adjust your treatment until asthma symptoms are controlled.

    Sometimes asthma is severe and cannot be controlled with other treatments. If you are an adult with uncontrolled asthma, in some cases your provider might suggest bronchial thermoplasty. This is a procedure that uses heat to shrink the smooth muscle in the lungs. Shrinking the muscle reduces your airway’s ability to tighten and allows you to breathe more easily. The procedure has some risks, so it’s important to discuss them with your provider.


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