Bronchospasm or a bronchial spasm is a sudden constriction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles. in this case degranulation of substances from blast cells or basophils under the influence of anaphylatoxins (a substance produced by complement activation). It causes difficulty in breathing which can be very mild to severe.
Signs and Symptoms of Bronchospasm
- Chest tightness and pressure
- Trouble breathing, often at night, in the morning, or after you exercise
- Wheezing (whistling sound when you breathe)
- Shortness of breath
Diagnosis of Bronchospam
- A chest x-ray is used to take pictures of lungs and helps check for signs of infection, such as upper respiratory infection or pneumonia.
- Pulmonary function tests are used to see how well lungs are working. They measure the strength of breath when exhale.
- CT scan is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of lungs to check for problems, such as blood clots. A dye may be given before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better.
Bronchoconstriction is the most common drug-induced respiratory problem. Bronchospasm can be induced by a wide variety of drugs through a number of disparate physiological mechanisms . Regardless of the physiological mechanism, drug-induced bronchospasm is almost exclusively a problem of patients with preexisting bronchial hyper-reactivity (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease).By definition, all patients with nonspecific bronchial hyper reactivity will experience bronchospasm if given sufficiently high doses of cholinergic or anticholinesterase agents. Severe asthmatics with a high degree of bronchial reactivity may wheeze following the inhalation of a number of particulate substances, such as the lactose in dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) and inhaled corticosteroids, presumably through direct stimulation of the central airway irritant receptors. Other pharmacologic mechanisms for inducing bronchospasm include β2-receptor blockade and non-immunologic histamine release from mast cells and basophils. A large number of agents are capable of producing bronchospasm through immunoglobulin (IgE)–mediated reactions. These drugs can become a significant occupational hazard for pharmacists, nurses, and pharmaceutical industry workers.
DRUGS THAT INDUCE BRONCHOSPASM
Mechanism of Bronchospasm
Bronchospasm mechanism follows from the above Table, which shows that these groups of people are heavy breathers. They all have low CO2 levels in their lungs. As a result of low alveolar CO2, they also have low body-oxygen levels due to effects of alveolar hypocapnia, which either destroys lungs (causing arterial hypercapnia and hypoxemia as for people with COPD) or causes arterial hypocapnia with reduced oxygen transport, as an additional factor that is present during bronchospasm.
Bronchospasm, therefore, due to its effects on oxygen transport, leads to low oxygen levels in tissues and favors chronic inflammation (see links below). As a result, people with lung conditions (asthma, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and many others), experience chronic bronchospasm in the smooth muscles of airways due to chronic alveolar hypocapnia.
Prevention techniques for bronchospasm
Avoid triggers.Breathe through your nose when you are in cold, dry air or weather. This may help reduce lung irritation by warming the air before it reaches your lungs.Warm up before you exercise. Ask healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.Try to avoid people who are sick. Ask healthcare provider if you need a flu or pneumonia vaccine.