The Bronchoconstriction is the condition that involve the tightening of the smooth muscles surrounding the bronchi and bronchioles with the resulting consequences of shortness in breath and wheezing of the chest, most often these episodes are triggered by environmental stimuli. Some of the main identifiers to cause bronchoconstriction are air pollutants, allergens, thermal and osmotic changes, viral infections, stress of the mucosal epithelium and trigger of wide range of vascular and neural events. When we have a continues and repeated episodes of bronchoconstriction the individual ends up developing asthma.
As the airways carry air to and from the lung constrict, several breathing-related problems can occur in the process. Some of these problems may be minor and easy to overcome however, if these symptoms do not get resolved on their own or with medication, then they can lead to serious complications.
There is data which seem to indicate that mechanically compressed airway or epithelial cells might lead to bronchoconstriction which in turn may worsen and generate a pathologic process that will lead to airway remodelling and repeated amplification. These observations so far seem to suggest that bronchoconstriction may not simply be a manifestation but could also be a major cause of airway remodelling.
The disorder referred to as airway constriction is a symptom that is present in many medical conditions but most often it is associated with various types of asthma and asthma-like conditions.
Allergic asthma: this is an allergy that activates the immune system causing the release of chemicals that leads to inflammation and cause constriction of the airways. Symptoms of bronchoconstriction typically do not develop as a response to the first exposure to an allergen, but the problems occur during the second exposure or a bit later.
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction: this condition is associated with changes in breathing physical activity, which lead to direct narrowing of the airways. The EIB can occur during or immediately after exercise for people suffering with asthma or other lung diseases. Among other lung diseases associated with susceptibility to bronchoconstriction are:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
For people with these conditions, bronchoconstriction is often triggered by irritants, such as cigarette smoke, dust, or other air pollutants. It goes without saying this is not an allergic reaction but a direct irritation of the airway tissues. It is a matter of fact the observation that seems to suggest bronchoconstriction to be a key driver of airway remodelling. In this regard prevention of asthma exacerbations might be a reasonable approach to mitigate worsening of the disease. In addition, it is important to note that in reducing asthma rate of generation will mitigate the disease progression, and somehow this will further highlight the importance of prevention of exacerbation in the clinic.
Asthma as a disease has been recognized by remodelling of the airway wall since the 20th century, however the human and scientist understanding of asthma pathogenesis is still lacking and slowly growing. The two forms comprising of chronic inflammation in the airway and reversible bronchoconstriction are cardinal features of the disease. In the effort targeting the understanding of these two critical symptoms, common treatment strategies include anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and beta-adrenergic receptor agonist following the onset of exacerbation.
This therefore means that bronchoconstriction turns on the pathologic signals that eventually is responsible for leading to the progression of asthma. As rule, efforts and emphasis should be set forth to create treatment strategies that are pre-emptive rather than reactive or responsive.