Bronchial Asthma: Causes of development, symptoms and treatment

Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease that manifests itself under the influence of external stimuli. By nature, this is a state of pathology in the respiratory tract, in the form of an inflammatory process that causes obstructive spasms during breathing.

When allergens get on the receptors, the work of the bronchial system is disrupted and the obstruction increases with subsequent spasms.  This causes shortness of breath and shortness of breath with intermittent intensification for an indefinite period of time, which is called a seizure. This malaise can be stopped by the systematic intake of medications and long-term drug treatment.

Bronchial asthma

Classification and causes of asthma

Such an ailment is classified depending on the nature of the occurrence into:

  1. Exogenous – does not bother until the allergen enters the respiratory tract.
  2. Endogenous – psychological or physical stress, infectious diseases or frosty air acts as an irritant.
  3. The mixed form is determined by the characteristics combined from the first two classifications.

Exacerbation of bronchial asthma can occur at different times of the day with unforeseen intensity and symptomatic increase.

According to the signs, malaise is divided into:

  • intermittent – rare exacerbations one for several weeks, with nocturnal reflex suffocations of a similar frequency
  • mild persistent – the patient is disturbed several times a week, but not necessarily every day, and nocturnal manifestations occur up to 2-4 per month
  • medium persistent – a violation of the usual way of life occurs almost daily with nocturnal seizures more often than once a week
  • severe persistent – very frequent attacks, up to several times a day, also occurs at night, which makes a person less active with disabilities.

Using the method of clinical research, scientists were able to identify and diagnose several possible causes of the development and manifestation of the disease in different categories of the population.

Clinical phenotypes:

  • allergic asthma – provoked by the influence of negative factors, manifests itself in the form of inflammatory processes, as a concomitant malaise of a hereditary type
  • non-allergic – has a chronic form and does not depend on irritation by allergens
  • with obesity – provoked by insufficient opening of the airways in a confined space and an acute inflammatory process
  • with recurring obstruction – blockage of the pathways in the bronchi with a protracted nature, and constant changes in this organ, which complicates the passage of air
  • with a late onset – manifests itself in older people, is a reaction to a certain group of medications, most often observed in women.

Symptoms of bronchial asthma

Symptoms of asthma may include:

  • coughing
  • a choking attack
  • guttural wheezing
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath. 

The frequency and intensity of seizures is determined by the type and form of the disease. All the time the patient can lead a normal life, until the moment of exposure to allergens. The acute form manifests itself over several days or can occur instantly.

The most common symptoms are:

  1. Violent cough with wheezing and phlegm from the bronchi, aggravated by whistling, sometimes painful sensations.
  2. Lack of air due to the difficulty of getting it into the respiratory tract and the difficulty of exhaling, leads to severe suffocation, most often during sleep. Sometimes pre-signaled by a runny nose, itching or tickling in the nose.
  3. Constant shortness of breath, a pronounced form of which occurs even with little physical exertion.
  4. Weakness and physical discomfort, accompanied by a rapid pulse and soreness in the chest area.

During a panic attack, the patient needs open space and fresh air, as this can lead to unexpected muscle contractions and the need for deep breaths. The first signs of asthma in an adult are shortness of breath and a small cough that gets worse and leads to wheezing and phlegm. The duration can reach several hours and be accompanied by a rapid pulse.

What to do with an asthma attack

Very often, all symptoms are activated in the morning or evening, provoking a suffocating cough and the inability to lead a normal life. This is greatly aggravated by viral or infectious diseases.

At the initial stage, the patient feels shortness of breath, slight dizziness, difficulty in speaking and speech inaccuracies. Further, he may lose his balance and the ability to speak. Then there is excessive agitation and an accelerated heartbeat. Status asthma is the most dangerous and difficult stage, which leads to suffocation and sometimes death. Therefore, emergency care for bronchial asthma is very important.

How to save a person during an attack:

  • the first stage of emergency care is the fact of complete calming and bringing a person to their senses
  • free the body from tight clothing, which will allow the chest to work at full capacity
  • provide free access to fresh air
  • then you need to provide the patient with medicine from an individual inhaler, which he should always have with him
  • the active substance from the inhaler must be injected several times to achieve the fastest possible effect
  • to enable a person to sit comfortably in a chair, with his hands relaxed on the armrests
  • after the return of the stability of the general condition, you must immediately call an ambulance.

An attack of bronchial asthma should be eliminated only with the help of an individual inhaler containing a certain drug.

Diagnosis of the bronchial asthma

All diagnostic methods are based on secretion, bronchial capacity and lung function. Any suspicion of such a malaise should be accompanied by an examination by a narrow specialist who diagnoses, develops a treatment system and selects the best recommendations for preventive and protective measures.

For a clear diagnosis, excluding the possibility of similar diseases, a detailed study of symptoms, clinical tests and allergy tests should be carried out, which can indicate the most risky drugs and treatment methods.

Required laboratory tests:

  • complete blood test formula
  • biochemical blood test
  • analytical research to identify antibodies to a specific allergen
  • disclosed urine analysis
  • examination of feces for the presence of helminths
  • CT scan
  • sputum test for the level of eosinophils
  • chest x-ray to exclude concomitant infections.

Full diagnostics is carried out in conjunction with the examination of such indicators:

  1. Study of the course of seizures, taking into account age indicators, frequency of manifestations, intensity and strength of cough, as well as the direct influence of the body of medications
  2. Complete lung examination, percussion and auscultation
  3. Measuring the amount of air during inhalation and exhalation
  4. Fixation of the speed of the input and output stream.

Only after studying the full clinical picture, the attending physician can prescribe an effective drug treatment and select the optimal inhalers for bronchial asthma. With some psychological aspects, you have to turn to a psychotherapist who will help get rid of fears and panic during choking.

Treatment for bronchial asthma

Most forms of such a disease do not provide for complete recovery, but only a partial dulling of all its manifestations, which bring discomfort to everyday life.  Therefore, the task of specialists is the correct formation of the diagnosis, the choice of methods of therapy and constant monitoring of the patient’s condition.

First of all, the patient must independently get rid of all irritants that can provoke an unexpected choking effect. He is also responsible for taking medications and having a personal inhaler. Such control should be throughout life in order to exclude acute manifestations and pain.

In addition to drug treatment, experts prescribe a number of recommendations to patients, non-compliance with which can cost him his life. The first step is an  appointment with an allergist , who will help determine the nature of the cough and limit the range of possible influencing factors. Symptoms of asthma, allergic origin, are dulled by the use of immunotherapy in the form of pills or injections.

Drug treatment:

  • systematic intake of selected drugs
  • performing inhalations with a professional nebulizer
  • injection treatment of inflammatory processes
  • speleotherapy and massages
  • physiotherapy.

A complex of such measures will help to stop the ailment and give a chance for a normal life without discomfort.  But in addition to specialized treatment, there are a number of recommendations that must be followed:

  1. Healthy lifestyle
  2. No smoking of any kind, even passive
  3. Install air purifiers in your home
  4. Control over concomitant and chronic ailments
  5. Lack of unregulated physical activity
  6. Elimination of the risk of inhalation of active allergens.

All experts who have studied the disease claim that asthma drugs can be divided into two categories: controlling the disease and making breathing easier. It is also very important to pay attention to such an aspect as a healthy lifestyle and easy exercise. They will help develop heart muscle strength and increase lung capacity to reduce the risk of blockages in the bronchial passages.

Prevention of asthma

In terms of the individuality of each organism, it is very difficult to determine the possible development of the disease and prevent its symptoms. The only difference is clinically confirmed diagnoses of allergenic origin, which can be stopped by using against allergenic drugs and preventing irritants from entering the body.

Asthma symptoms in adults can be stopped for a long time, but it is impossible to get rid of them completely. Therefore, you need to constantly be monitored by a doctor, carry out systematic examinations and control over all changes in the body. Eating a diet, light exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can help stabilize your weight, improve your overall health, and reduce the risk of high-intensity choking attacks.


  • daily walks in the fresh air
  • avoid contact with possible allergens
  • prevention of concomitant disorders that can become chronic
  • proper nutrition with environmentally friendly products without aggressive components
  • taking antihistamines, if it is impossible to completely protect against irritants
  • complete smoking cessation
  • light sports and, if necessary, climate change.

What is needed to avoid the acute form of the disease:

  • systematic wet cleaning of the house
  • get rid of items with high lint that accumulate dust
  • frequent washing of bed linen using the boiled water mode (at least 60 °)
  • give up pets
  • systematically treat the walls of the house with antifungal agents;
  • to clear housing from rodents and insects.

If unusual reflex signs appear, it is better to immediately consult a doctor for specialized advice. You may need to change drugs or additional supportive care.

Dr. Ashwani Kumar is highly skilled and experienced in treating major and minor general medicine diseases.