Bronchial Thermoplasty

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In this paper I will examine the different aspects of a new treatment for asthma, known as the Bronchial Thermoplasty. This paper identifies how this treatment works, and the benefits as well as negative effects surrounding this new treatment.
Introduction to Asthma
Asthma is a chronic, respiratory disease which makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma is characterized through muscle spasms which occur in the bronchi of the lungs. (1) Figure 1.1 shows a healthy airway with a normal amount of smooth muscle surrounding it. This is the ideal amount of smooth muscle for healthy, regulated breathing. People who have asthma have an excess amount of smooth muscle surrounding their airways, as seen in figure 1.2. This diagram shows the excess amount of smooth muscle which surrounds the airways of those with asthma. (2)
Triggers such as dust, mold, pollen and the consumption of certain drugs, extensive exercise, and air pollution can cause an asthma exacerbation, commonly known as an asthma attack. (2/3) During an asthma attack, the muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes tighten, resulting in a narrowing of the airway. In addition, mucus is produced in the bronchial tubes, making it harder to breathe. Those with asthma have difficulty breathing due to their excess smooth muscle surrounding their airways in addition to the narrowing of the airways during asthma attacks. Figure 1.3 shows the narrowing of the airway opening which occurs during an asthma attack, in addition, to the contracted smooth muscle which occurs during an attack. (1) During the attack one could experience coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing, depending on the severity of the attack. In the instance of a severe asthma attack, one may be required to seek...

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