What is Bronchospasm?

Bronchospasm is a contraction of the airways in the lungs that can lead to difficulty breathing. It is a common condition, affecting 7% to 10% of adults. In some cases, the bronchospasm is so severe that it can be life-threatening. The condition is usually caused by inflammation of the airways, which can be triggered by allergies, irritants, medications, or certain conditions such as asthma.

Symptoms of Bronchospasm

Symptoms of bronchospasm may include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fatigue

Causes of Bronchospasm

Bronchospasm can be caused by numerous factors, including:

  • Allergies
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Certain medications
  • Exercise or emotional stress
  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Structural abnormalities in airways

Treatment of Bronchospasm

Treatment of bronchospasm can vary, depending on its severity and cause. In some cases, a person may need only rest and supplemental oxygen. In more severe cases, medications such as bronchodilators can be used to open the airways and ease breathing. In extreme cases, a person may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive care, such as respiratory support, oxygen therapy, or intravenous medication. Long-term treatment strategies may include the use of inhaled medications and other therapies to reduce inflammation and prevent further episodes of bronchospasm.