Asthma and Your Airways-About Asthma Treatments
Generally your lungs can usually cope well with microscopic invaders so when you cough or sneeze they are smartly expelled. But when you have asthma and breathe in any substance that is allergic to you, your responsive immunity will interact.
The normal airway or bronchus is lines with a fine protective layer, the mucosa or epithelium. Some cells in this layer produce fluid or mucus, while others pass these secretions up the bronchial tubes to the mouth by moving tiny hair like cells or cilia which coat the surface of these cells.
The mucus is then swallowed to be sterilized by the acid in the stomach or expelled by coughing. Very common. smokers develop a phlegmy cough because smoking destroys the cilia.
The mucosa or epithelium is the submucosa, which in turn encases a spiral sheet of muscle. In a case when you inhale something like water, this muscle can tighten suddenly to protect the air sacs.
Asthma is caused when the airways become inflamed and sometimes to an extent of blockage. This inflammation may be triggered by inhaling an allergen, such as pollen. If you breathe in an allergen it penetrates deep into your lungs and lodges in the tiny air sacs called alveoli.
The immune system recognizes the allergen as an invader, even though it is not, and sends out antibodies, setting off an allergic reaction. Inflammation is the body’s way of dealing with infection and usually it is short lived.
However, in asthma the inflammation of the airways can last for several hours. This increases the mucus in the lungs and often can leave the bronchi sensitive for a number of days.
If you have recurrent attack there is chances for the inflammation to aggravate and develop into a chronic condition or long term illness. In severe cases of asthma even when you are not having an attack, the airways thicken and mucus plugs block the bronchi. Likely even moderately affected asthmatics have some degree of inflammation between asthma attacks.