What is a Bronchospasm?

Over the last 20 years of my life, I was diagnosed with Asthma as I would have coughing spells that would just not let me get air in.  Several trips to the hospital later and days of recovery, I finally sought out a Dr. that was competent in respiratory and began getting help, to suffer no more.  Fast forward a few years and I introduced my children into the world and unfortuanately the crew of 3 all have Asthma and suffer from bronchospasms.  This word is thrown around an ER and pulmonologist/allergist office like water but do you know what it is? Tis the season for asthma, allergies and bronchospasms gone wild, Spring into Summer!

bronchial tubes, air, asthma, breathing, lungs, allergies, infections, dana vento

Bronchospasms are not something that are just for those of us that have the misfortune of having asthma, it is for those that suffer from Allergies, lung infections and asthma.   What does a bronchospasm feel like?  A bronchospasm could be compared to carrying fresh fruit chunkie smoothies  through 2 sizes of straws.  In the first case, those wide slurpee straws that you drink smoothies through is the optimum air movement, as you could easily get your smoothie to your mouth by sucking, it moves through easily because the straw is large, wide, open and expanded. For someone not experiencing a bronchospasm, it is likely that their bronchial tubes are open and air is flowing, just like the large straw, it allows you to get those chunks of fruit through from the smoothie because it is so wide.   Now, conversely, try sipping that smoothie with fruit chunks through you typical fast food restaurant straw, it is narrow, hard to get pieces of fruit through and often obstructed, that is what a bronchospasm is like.  The normal airflow is decreased and it becomes very hard to breathe.

How can you attempt to avoid a bronchospasm?  Often this is easier said than done, because even if you shield yourself from some of the known items that tip it off, when you are in public you can’t shield yourself from all of the stimulants.  Try to avoid smoke and second hand smoke, and keep the dust in your home to a minimum.  Use a wet cloth to dust rather than a dry cloth in order to allow the dirt/dust to adhere.  Drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods, and if you have allergies and have been diagnosed, keep taking the meds prescribed to help keep your bronchial tubes —oiled and lubed, lol.

When you have a bronchospasm you might the following may or may not happen as it presents differently in everyone:

1) wheezing

2) coughing more in the very early morning and very late night.

3) chest tightness

4) shortness of breath.

What to do if you have been experiencing a bronchospasm? Do not self-medicate, seek help and see what the underlying cause is, and treat that, i.e.– allergies, asthma, lung problems, etc.  Once you know what triggers your spasms you can try to eliminate those causes from your direct environment or limit them.

I am not a Dr., nor am I pretending to be, this is just information I have learned. As with ANY medical condition, you need to seek medical help for any and every problem.  This article is just meant to help you understand what a bronchospasm may feel like as we have experienced them many times before.  I am not a licensed Dr.  – check with your medical provided for more information.*This is not a paid post* This is what we have learned, living with asthma, kids, sickness and allergies! I am not a Dr., I am just sharing what we have learned.