Asthma And Night Wheezing

Asthma And Night Wheezing

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that constricts the air ways and blocks the flow of air into the lungs. The muscles surround the bronchial tubes suddenly tighten during an asthmatic attack and narrow the air passage.

Simultaneously the lining of the passage becomes inflamed and coated with mucus. The combination of all these contribute to narrowing of the opening. The result is shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.

The precise cause of asthma is unknown but it is more prevalent when the condition is hereditary and when the sufferer is sensitive to allergies. The bronchial passages in an asthmatic are sensitive to irritants that trigger an attack.

Coughing and wheezing at night is one of the symptoms of asthma but may not necessarily be so. However, if either coughing or wheezing persist or sleep is disturbed, then a visit to the doctor is advisable. Either way, wheezing is indicative of some underlying respiratory problem and if prolonged, should be investigated.

Night wheezing, if due to asthma, is known as nocturnal asthma for which there are three possible reasons:

  • The patient might be breathing something to which he is allergic. Asthmatic symptoms develop a few hours after breathing these allergens. The irritant could be something commonplace like dust mites or animal dander.
  • The circulation of corticosteroids and epinephrine -- that control asthma -- decreases naturally during the night and reaches a low between 2.00 am and 3.00 am.
  • Stomach acid might be regurgitated or aspirated at night while in a reclining position.

Some people believe that wheezing and asthma are synonymous, but this is not the case. Wheezing is only one of the symptoms of asthma. Wheezing is also caused by a number of other ailments.

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Asthma And Night Wheezing