In children, bronchial asthma is the most common chronic disease. But adults also suffer from these attacks of respiratory symptoms. The trigger is a hypersensitivity of the respiratory tract - with different causes. Recurrent coughing attacks, whistling breath sounds, the feeling of not getting enough air - meanwhile, almost every tenth child knows these typical symptoms of bronchial asthma from their own experience. About half of them will also have to live as adults with this chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract (bronchi).
Asthma: Chronic inflammation of the bronchi
The later asthma begins in childhood, the greater the likelihood that it will persist. Symptoms are not always present in bronchial asthma, but they always appear suddenly and worsen rapidly. An asthma attack can be life-threatening.
The rate of illness has increased in recent years, especially in western industrial nations. Why this is so, one still does not know exactly, even if there are numerous studies and theories. The treatment of bronchial asthma depends on the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
Various forms of bronchial asthma
In principle, two types are distinguished - non-allergic asthma and allergic asthma; Frequently a mixed form occurs:
- Non-allergic asthma (endogenous asthma): The acute asthma attacks are triggered by non-specific stimuli, without an allergy is detectable. These may be, for example, infections (infectious asthma), dust, tobacco smoke or cold air; but mental factors such as stress or excitement can be relevant for non-allergic asthma. Especially the infectious asthma occurs more in a baby or toddler.
- Allergic asthma (extrinsic asthma): The asthma attacks are based on hypersensitivity or allergy to certain substances, if it is allergic asthma; Often, other allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis or hay fever are present before or in parallel. Often the allergy is aimed at allergic asthma against dust mites or animal hair. Allergic asthma tends to occur in school age and in young adults.
- Mixed form: This form of bronchial asthma usually occurs in adults. At the same time there is an allergic asthma and a reduced stimulation threshold that cause respiratory infections asthma. Often there is also a sensitivity to certain drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid.