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What Is the Relationship between the Respiratory System and Asthma?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

The respiratory system and asthma are directly linked because the latter affects the former. Asthma is the constriction of a person’s airways due to inflammation. It is an allergic reaction to an inhaled allergen, and it is seen in people of all ages, genders, and nationalities. In worst-case scenarios, an asthma attack can nearly or completely block a person’s airways, leading to hospitalization or sometimes death. If asthma is suspected, a person should see a doctor for medication to prevent full-blown attacks.

A common reaction to an allergen is swelling. This swelling can take place in the throat if an allergen is inhaled and the person is particularly sensitive to it. Genetics plays a role in how sensitive a person is; for example, people who have hay fever allergies, which can be inherited, are more likely to have asthma. In addition to throat swelling, the respiratory system and asthma are linked because an attack that constricts the throat limits air from getting into and leaving the lungs.

The human respiratory system, showing the trachea, bronchioles, and lungs.
The human respiratory system, showing the trachea, bronchioles, and lungs.

This relationship between respiratory system and asthma is seen in millions of people around the world. More than 300 million are estimated to be affected by asthma, with at least 250,000 asthma-related deaths occurring every year. Some studies show that there is potential to prevent children from developing asthma up to a certain age. This may be done by ridding the home of certain allergens, though it was found that particular allergens were best off being introduced to children to avoid problems in the future.

An asthma inhaler.
An asthma inhaler.

The respiratory system and asthma are not a good mix because of how dangerous the disorder can be. When the lungs are nearly blocked, it is difficult to inhale, but it is even harder to exhale. Due to this, a person who has a severe asthma attack will wheeze in air, exhale, and proceed to wheeze in even less air because he or she could not exhale all of the last inhalation. This is dangerous in more ways than one because there is a lack of oxygen and too much carbon dioxide and eventually the person will not be able to breathe at all.

A human respiratory system.
A human respiratory system.

A health professional can administer a test to see if a person has asthma. Many deaths can be prevented if more people affected by asthma are diagnosed with the condition and prescribed medication. This medication must usually be carried on one’s person in case an attack occurs away from home.

Discussion Comments


@StarJo – Yes, mold can cause an asthma episode. My best friend had to move out of her home because of the mold and the fact that her daughter had asthma.

If you have black mold, you need to have it removed anyway. It can cause long-term problems for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have asthma.

My friend's daughter just had a really sensitive respiratory system. The mold made her sick all the time, and since the landlord refused to do anything about it, they had to relocate.


Is it possible for mold in the home to trigger an asthma attack? I recently discovered mold underneath the wallpaper in one bedroom, and I'm going to be having some family members stay with me for awhile soon. One of them has asthma, and I don't want the mold to make him sick.


I know a man who had severe asthma back in the early fifties, and his family was too poor to afford treatment, if it even existed back then. He recalled one severe asthma attack in which he nearly died.

He had been playing outside, running around in the spring air that was full of pollen. Suddenly, he couldn't seem to catch his breath.

He wound up lying on the ground wheezing and trying so hard to breathe. He could only let the air out very slowly, so the gaps between inhaled breaths were getting longer.

His dad prayed, and he was healed of the asthma. It took an absolute miracle for him to survive, because healthcare back then was not the greatest, even for those who could afford it.

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      By: Alexandr Mitiuc
      The human respiratory system, showing the trachea, bronchioles, and lungs.
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