What Is Bronchial Asthma

What is bronchial asthma, and how does it differ from other forms of asthma? Bronchial asthma is the formal name for the most common kind of asthma. This formal name is used when it is necessary to distinguish between common asthma and cardiac asthma, a respiratory condition caused by heart failure.

Understanding Bronchial Asthma
Your lungs are filled with branches of tiny tubes that are called bronchial tubes. Bronchial tubes help the air we breathe get into the bloodstream so that it can provide nourishment to the body's cells.

Bronchial asthma occurs when these bronchial tubes become very sensitive to stimuli. The bronchial tubes swell, reducing the amount of air that can flow in and out of the lungs. This can cause you to wheeze, cough or experience a shortness of breath. If the bronchial tubes get irritated sufficiently, they may swell shut, causing fainting or, in rare cases, death.

In most cases, asthma can be treated with ongoing medication, changes in environment and the avoidance of triggers. People with asthma can lead normal, active lives, as long as they are aware of potential triggers of an asthma attack.

Allergic Asthma
In most cases, allergies to specific things in the environment are the main triggers of asthma attacks. This is known as allergic asthma. In many cases, this kind of bronchial asthma that can be treated simply by avoiding allergens. Common allergens are pet dander, dust mites, pollen, mold, mildew, smoke, chemicals and foods. Once you identify what allergens trigger your asthma, you can take measures to eliminate these things from your life.

Untreated asthma often gets worse instead of better, because the repeatedly irritated bronchial tubes become more and more sensitive, causing stronger and frequent asthma attacks. Once irritated, your bronchial tubes need time to rest and heal before they can deal with another irritant. It's important to take medication to calm the bronchial tubes and to avoid asthma triggers, even if you have been feeling fine. If the bronchial tubes are repeatedly irritated, extra mucous builds up in them. This can lead to a secondary infection, causing more complications.

If avoiding allergens isn't enough to keep asthma under control, doctors may prescribe medicine and suggest the use of a rescue inhaler. An inhaler vaporizes a small amount of medicine that opens the bronchial tubes and reduces irritation, limiting the severity of an asthma attack. 

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