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Effects of Asthma on Lungs

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 17, 2012
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

In asthma, normal breathing gets disrupted, which is ascribed as obstruction of the lungs. Owing to this, malady is also referred to as obstructive airway disease (OAD). The condition responsible for triggering asthma is hyper responsive reaction to a certain stimuli, known as allergens.

Asthmatics experience signs like tightness in chest, difficulty while breathing and wheezing. There is no definite cure for the malady, because of which reducing severity of attacks is considered the solution to counter asthmatic's lungs. Several physiological processes during asthma render various effects on the lungs.

Muscle Constriction in Asthma

Constriction of muscles around respiratory airways is a common complication of asthma. On getting exposed to triggering activity or substance, muscles contract airways and decrease space for air to flow within lungs. Over time, these muscles grow in size, causing more severe asthma attacks.

Lungs of asthma patients are more vulnerable to constriction owing to increased response to allergens. Constriction of the pipes occurs due to inflammation and swelling that eventually clogs narrowed airways.

Lung Inflammation

Asthma is a chronic health condition characterised by inflammation in the lungs. Cells causing inflammation commute to the lungs and secrete proteins causing swelling. Swelling in respiratory passage restricts air going in and out of the lungs.

Mucus Production


Overproduction of mucus is another phenomenon observed in asthma. This activity, which occurs due to inflammation of cells, limits air movement within lungs. Excess of mucus production might lead to asthma attack. Therefore, medications are recommended for preventing and relieving lungs from the risk of excess mucus production.

Tightening of Bronchial Wall

Muscles within bronchial wall tighten during asthmatic condition. Tightening of bronchial wall raises breathing concerns.

Increased Concentration of Carbon Dioxide within Lungs

It is quite difficult to breathe through obstructed airways, as stale air occupy space within lungs. As a consequence, volume of carbon dioxide within lungs increases. Increased concentration of carbon dioxide turns blood acidic, raising toxicity level within body.

Scarring

Another plausible consequence of asthma is tissue scarring, also known as airway fibrosis. This is permanent damage of the lungs that happens as a result of chronic inflammation. Fibroblasts cells demarcate and deposit unnecessary material in asthmatics’ lungs. If tissue scarring builds up in excess, obstruction of the airway increases further.

Collapsed Lung or Pneumothorax

Another consequence of asthma is collapsed lung, also known as pneumothorax. The build-up of air prevents expansion of lungs, and can also lead to cardiac concerns.

 

 

Read more articles on Asthma

 

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