Asthma: Disease of the Respiratory System

Topics: Asthma, Respiratory system, Mucus Pages: 4 (1282 words) Published: February 26, 2006
Asthma: Disease of the respiratory system

Breathing, the act of inhaling and exhaling of air. Oddly enough this process is an absolute necessity for life and yet we do not control it. There are two systems involved in our ability to breathe one is the parasympathetic nervous system and the other is the respiratory system. The parasympathetic nervous system controls the body's unconscious actions that are necessary to live such as the beating of the heart. The Respiratory system mainly consists of the nose, nasal passages, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs which is also called the respiratory tract.

The main job of the respiratory system is to control the intake and exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between an organism and the environment. This is process is called respiration, also known as breathing. The air is taken in through the nasal passages of the nose, where it is filtered, warmed, and humidified. It then passes the pharynx and larynx and makes its way down the trachea. When it reaches the end of the trachea it filters into two lungs. After going through the bronchi and bronchioles, which are located within the lung, it makes its way to the alveoli. This is where the exchange of gases takes place, through the various capillaries that surround the alveoli.

Unfortunately there are plenty of diseases out there that causes this process to not take place as effectively as they should. One of these diseases is called asthma, "once thought of as a major illness, asthma is now regarded as a complex condition with multiple causes" (Adams xxi). Asthma has been defined and redefined so many times in

the past that its been hard to get a straight definition. Basically what asthma is, is your lungs inability to retain and use air to make energy for the body. "Asthma is a lung disease with the following characteristics: (1) Airway obstruction that is reversible, but not completely in some patients, either spontaneously or...

Bibliography: Lieberman, Phil. Understanding Asthma. Mississippi: University press of Mississippi, 1999.
Adams, Francis. The Asthma sourcebook.Los Angeles: Contemporize Publishing Group, 1998
Daniel M. Libby, M.D..:"Asthma update 97."Newsweek .16 June.1997: 16-18
"Study finds
asthma attacks" Medical Devices & Surgical Technology World . 8 Aug. 2004: 18
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