In bronchial asthma, due to various causes, there is a hypersensitivity of the inner walls in the respiratory tract, the bronchi (therefore also: bronchial asthma or bronchial asthma). Consequences of this hyper-responsiveness are a cramping of the small muscles in the bronchi (spasm) as well as a chronic inflammation. This leads to a swelling of the mucous membrane (edema) and increased secretion of mucus (dyscrinia).
These three factors lead to a narrowing of the respiratory tract and are therefore the causes of the typical symptoms of acute bronchial asthma: coughing and dyspnoea with difficulty especially during exhalation. The air remains "trapped", it comes to an overinflation of the lungs, fresh air can not flow in sufficiently. As a result, the body is no longer supplied with enough oxygen.
Asthma: causes unexplained
The causes that cause the hypersensitivity of the bronchial tubes have not been definitively clarified. Although one knows several risk factors; however, how these interact individually as causes to cause bronchial asthma is still unknown. What is certain is that - as with other allergic diseases - genes can play a role in the causes of bronchial asthma: for example, the system (disposition) is often inherited to develop an allergy.
However, there are additional factors that trigger bronchial asthma. For example, harmful environmental substances such as exhaust fumes, dust and, above all, cigarette smoke are suspected, as well as exaggerated hygiene (which means that the child's immune system is not sufficiently trained).
Repeated respiratory infections, disorders of the intestinal flora, vaccinations, early antibiotic therapy and psychological stress on the child and mother in pregnancy may also act as causes and triggers for asthma.
Asthma and bronchitis
Once bronchial asthma has developed, the bronchial inflammatory reactions persist. Then, depending on the type of asthma, various stimuli (triggers) such as bronchitis, pollen or medication are added, worsening the situation and triggering acute asthma attacks.
The transition from spastic bronchitis (a common disease in children) to infectious asthma is fluid. The difference between spastic bronchitis and infectious asthma is that at bronchitis respiratory tracts between infections recover from an inflammation. In practice, this is often difficult to determine.