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Asthma Pathophysiology

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of respiratory passageways, particularly the mucosa, causing narrowing the respiratory passaging ways, which can ultimately cause difficulty in breathing. It may cause constriction of pulmonary smooth muscles and periods of bronchoconstriction, i.e., bronchial hyperactivity. Two main types of asthma exist in respective patients: allergic and non-allergic. In both categories, bronchial hyperactivity is evident in all cases (Fricker et al., 2020). Multiple asthma symptoms include severe and constant tightness of the chest with immense periods of coughing, breathing very fast or sometimes breathless to speak or eat, exhaustion, confusion, high heartbeat, blue fingers and blue lips, etc (Andrianasolo et al., 2018).

The history of the respective patient can reveal that chronic asthma may be because of the genetic causes or environmental reasons. As far as the pathophysiology of asthma is concerned, the role of genetics is still a debatable issue. The main concern of research in this regard lies in the ends that genetic has how much effect in this regard, and in what ways it plays its role. However, there is a significant heritable aspect to asthma, but the interplay of various genes to play any specific role is still not clarified. The gene involvement in asthmas development is important in context to environmental influences. The most common approach in this regard is the genome-wide association in studying asthma genetics and the role of specific genes in the pathogenesis of asthma.

Moreover, various environmental triggers react, causing inflamed airways during an asthma episode. These triggers are termed as stimuli of asthma and may include a variety of agents. Natural allergens in this regard include grass pollens, mold spores, and house dust mites. At the same time, the indoor air pollutants include volatile compounds such as perfumes, detergents, paper tissues, hair spray, cosmetics, multiple creams, air fresheners, and oil paints, etc. The medication comprises aspirin, penicillin, and beta-blockers that may become allergens. Similarly, numerous food items, various fossil fuels, different industrial compounds include in the said list. Meanwhile, various early childhood infections, especially respiratory infections, may lead to asthma. In addition to these intensive exercises, multiple hormonal changes in the body, psychological stress, and obesity are numerous stimuli regarding asthma. Cold weather is also an obstacle in this aspect and makes breathing difficult.

However, the actions of the triggers as mentioned above and stimuli may lead to narrowing the respiratory air passages and excessive production of mucus. Disclosure to these triggers results in the contraction of bronchi (large airways) into spasms, i.e., an asthma attack. After the said action on passageways, the inflammation occurs with an excessive amount of mucus, leading to coughing and breathing problems. The autonomic nervous system maintains the balanced functioning and standard caliber of the bronchus. The afferent nerve endings originate in the inner lining of the bronchus, and the respective impulse travels to the brain-stem center. These nerve endings released acetylcholine resulting in high production of 1, 4, 5-trisphosphate. The said molecules excessively form in bronchial smooth muscle cells and lead to the shortening of these muscles, which starts bronchoconstriction (O’Loghlen et al., 2020).

Furthermore, the mechanism behind asthma reveals the effect of allergens on the immune system as casual factors of this inflammatory condition. In patients with asthma and normal persons, the inhaled allergens make their passage to inner airways and affect immune cells, which are termed as TH0 cells. In asthma patients, these cells are transformed into a different type of cell (TH2) due to these allergens. The resultant (TH2) cells activate the hormonal immune system, producing antibodies against the inhaled allergens. Later, when the same allergens enter the patient’s air passageways, these antibodies recognize them and activate a hormonal response. Resultantly the chemicals that are produced cause inflammation in the air passageways with an excessive amount of mucous. The mucus becomes thicker with time and becomes difficult to breathing. If timely treatment is not provided, the air passageways may rupture and damage to severe conditions.


Andrianasolo, R. M., Kesse-Guyot, E., Adjibade, M., Hercberg, S., Galan, P., & Varraso, R. (2018). Associations between dietary scores with asthma symptoms and asthma control in adults. European Respiratory Journal52(1).

Fricker, M., Qin, L., Niessen, N., Baines, K. J., McDonald, V. M., Scott, H. A., … & Gibson, P. G. (2020). Relationship of sputum mast cells with clinical and inflammatory characteristics of asthma. Clinical & Experimental Allergy50(6), 696-707.

O’Loghlen, S. B., Levesque, L., Fisher, T., DeWit, Y., Whitehead, M., To, T., & Lougheed, M. D. (2020). Health services utilization is increased in poor perceivers of bronchoconstriction and hyperinflation in asthma. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice8(8), 2643-2650.



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