Bronchial asthma – definition

What is bronchial asthma?

Bronchial asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the lower airways, which is characterized by the bronchi undergoing paroxysmal narrowing and symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.

Bronchial asthma is one of the most commonly widespread diseases not only in Germany. Numbers on „children affected“ differ from source to source but it is the most widespread chronic disease in childhood. Some even mention that every tenth child is affected. In adulthood it is reduced to every twentieth person.

Asthma bronchiale

Two basic types of bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is generally characterised by a hypersensitive bronchial system that reacts to harmful substances, cold air, mist, cigarette smoke, etc. Further, differentiation is made between 2 types of bronchial asthma:

  1. Allergic asthma (extrinsic): affected persons have an allergic reaction to certain allergens such as pollen, dust mites, animal hair
  2. Non-allergic asthma (intrinsic): non-allergic irritants can be certain medications, infections, high levels of exertion, etc.

Allergic or non-allergic asthma?

The question of what causes bronchial asthma is not always easy to answer. If an allergic cause is suspected, an allergy skin test can offer some information. One drop of liquid extract of a common allergen is applied to a small, delimited area of the skin. If the skin shows an allergic reaction, the respective allergen can be ascertained.

However, the test does not prove whether the allergen is also the cause of the bronchial asthma. A so-called RAST test (radioallergosorbent test) can show evidence of an IgE antibody to an allergen, in the blood of an allergic person.

If no allergic cause can be found for an asthma attack, this is referred to as non-allergic asthma. This type of asthma is mainly found in adults 35 years of age and above, while allergic asthma is more commonly found in children and adolescents.

Mixed forms are most common, however. They mostly originate from an initial allergic asthma in childhood, and develop symptomatically over the course of the disease in the direction of non-allergic asthma.

Asthma emergency plan

What can be done for shortness of breath?

In case of an emergency asthmatic attack, it is best to have a safe and practised process in place!

Here, the new and patented guardian angel concept of the RC-Chamber® including the spacer in a safety pouch, a emergency plan, and guardian angel hanger, can be of help.

Subscribe to our

Tips and information on healthy airways!

  • for all who wish to breathe better
  • free of charge and convenient e-mails
  • compact newsletter once a month

For all those who deal with pneumological topics related to the respiratory tract in a professional context, please find here the subscription to the CEGLA FACHNEWSLETTER.