Bronchospasm also known as a bronchial spasm is a sudden involuntary constriction of the muscles of the airways going into the lungs. The constriction of muscles causes narrowing of the airway that comes and goes and may make it harder for you to breath. 

The contractions may be caused by irritation of the respiratory system, infections or allergies. Bronchospasm which is characterized by coughing and wheezing is a principal characteristic of asthma.

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Bronchospasm Symptoms

Below are the signs and symptoms of Bronchospasm. These symptoms may vary from one patient to another. One may experience one or all of the named symptoms. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms listed below

  • Difficulty in breathing mostly at night
  • A persistent Cough        
  • Shortness of breath especially after exercising
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • difficlty in breathing when around strong odors

Bronchospasm Causes

Bronchospasm may be caused by a number of factors. The factors are as follows below:

  • Lower respiratory tract infections-examples of these infections are asthma, pneumonia, Emphysema and Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease also known as (COPD).
  • Exercise or difficult activities
  • Upper respiratory infections- an example is a cold
  • Allergies to things like dust, pollen, mold, animal dander, food additives or latex.
  • Medication such as blood pressure medication, aspirin and antibiotics
  • Irritants such as air pollution, smoke, cold or very dry air, perfumes and other strong odors.

Note that the following foods may act as allergens in some people:

  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Fish
  • wheat

Bronchospasm Diagnosis

Bronchospasm is diagnosed by your doctor. He or she will examine you and ask about your medical background and any history of asthma, allergies or any form of serious sickness in the past. The doctor will listen to your chest using a stethoscope and feel the difference. Your doctor may ask you to do the following for further diagnosis.

  • A Pulmonary function test- this test is used to check how good your lungs are working. Generally the test is done to measure the strength of your breath when you exhale.
  • A chest x-ray- the pictures of your lungs taken are used to check for signs of infection such as pneumonia.
  • A CT scan- also known as CAT scan is an x-ray machine that uses a computer to take pictures of your lungs to check if there are any abnormalities.

Bronchospasm Treatment

Bronchospasm can be successfully treated in a number of ways that can help your airways open and reduce swelling in the lungs. The mode of treatment will be depicted by your doctor depending on the state of your condition,age, weight, medical history and response to treatment. Below are modes of treatment for Bronchospasm and all this forms of treatment should be given by a certified medical doctor.

  • Inhaled steroids- these inhalers help reduce swelling of the airways and ease your breathing. These steroids are long term.
  • Bronchodilators- they help expand the airways and ease your breathing.
  • Anticholinergics- they help relax and open the airways for easier breathing.
  • Inhaled Beta 2 agonists.
  • Supplemental oxygen

Main Bronchospasm Drugs

Spiriva Advair Diskus Symbicort

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