A condition of the lungs characterized by widespread narrowing of the airways due to spasm of the smooth muscle, edema of the mucosa, and the presence of mucus in the lumen of the bronchi and bronchioles. It is caused by the local release of spasmogens and vasoactive substances in the course of an allergic reaction.

1 Definition
Bronchial asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract, which is characterized by bronchial hyperreactivity and respiratory obstruction.

2 Etiology
The development of bronchial asthma is a multicausal process, which is caused by exogenic factors (environmental factors), and also by genetic dispositions. In addition, the course of the disease can be influenced by climatic changes and mental factors. Important exogenic activators are:  Allergens o Environmental allergens(house dust mites, pollen) o Allergenic


work substances (flour) o Food allergens Toxins or chemical irritants Respiratory diseases Pseudoallergic reactions (PAR) to analgesics (analgesic-induced asthma) Physical exertion (mainly in children) Patients with allergic asthma or other atopical diseases show a polygenic inherited trait for an overshooting immune response of IgE. If both parents suffer from atopy, the children have an atopical disease as well in 40-50% of the cases.

3 Epidemiology
As a rule, bronchial asthma already occurs in infancy and is the most common chronic disease of this stage of life. There exist differing statements on the prevalence of bronchial asthma in Germany. Some authors mention 2-4%; other sources even 6-10%. The number of deaths caused by asthma in Germany is approx. 5000/year.

4 Classification
4.1 ...According to etiology
Allergic or extrinsic asthma
Non-allergic or intrinsic asthma
Mixed forms
4.2 ...According to degree of severity
Grade 1: Intermittent
Grade 2: Persistent, mild
Grade 3: Persistent, moderate
Grade 4: Persistent, severe
5 Pathophysiology
Genetic disposition and exogenous noxa trigger three pathophysiological processes which characterize bronchial asthma:
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