Asthma Guide
Asthma and Allergy
Asthma Causes
Asthma Diagnosis
Asthma and Pregnancy
Asthma Prevention
First Aid For Asthma
Role of Pollutants
Severity of Asthma
Types of Asthma
Role of Yoga in Asthma

Asthma and Allergy - Effects of Allergens on Asthma

The process of respiration involves inhalation and exhalation of air into and from the lungs and is affected through a complex mechanism coordinated by the respiratory center of the brain. The ribs, muscles attached to the rib cage, and a muscular membrane-like structure, known as diaphragm, separating the abdomen from the thorax facilitate the process of respiration, during the inhalation or exhalation of air. In addition to this mechanism, the walls of the bronchial tree are equipped with bronchial muscles that either dilate or contract the air passages. In fact, there is a circadian rhythm operating the bronchial muscles which results in maximal dilation of air passages at about 6 p.m. and maximal constriction or air passages at 6 a.m. This explains why asthma attacks are more severe in the morning hours than in the evening. The other recognized factors that affect bronchial muscles and respiration are emotional and physical factors, such as altitude, temperature, and humidity of air, mostly by influencing the receptors dispersed in the walls of air passages. It is known, for example, that drugs stimulating ß-receptors cause dilation of air passages, while ß­blockers (used for treatment of high blood pressure) constrict air passages and thus are contraindicated in some pulmonary conditions. Cooling the airways may result in bronchial constriction, and exercise or hyperventilation in emotional stress may trigger asthmatic attacks, because of a lowering of the airway temperature.

The severity of asthma in a patient is judged by the presence of persistent airflow limitation, which puts asthma in a group of pulmonary conditions called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (or COPD).

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