Air reaches the lungs by way of the trachea and bronchi. Through the process of inhaling and exhaling (breathing in and out) the body obtains the oxygen needed to survive. The exhaling process rids the body of carbon dioxide which is the waste product of the biological processes.
What goes wrong
There are a few reasons why you may find difficulty in breathing, such as: narrowing to the air passages, from spasm, swelling of the air passage linings or perhaps an infection to lung tissue. There is also emphysema, dust or mould particles and smoking and air pollution to name some.
Symptom of breathing problems often come with a cough and a tight feeling in the chest. Although tightness in the chest can also be experienced by anxiety and stress sufferers other symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, cough etc. would become apparent with breathing problems caused by a virus.
Asthma and bronchitis would be a problem of the narrowing of air passage ways, bronchiolitis and bronchitis would be caused by a swelling of the air passage way linings. Lung infections would cause pneumonia and bronchitis. Emphysema would cause damage to the air sacs *(alveoli)
*alveolus (plural: alveoli, from Latin alveolus, “little cavity”) is an anatomical structure that has the form of a hollow cavity. Found in the lung, they are lined with epithelium. The elastic fibres allow the alveoli to stretch as they fill with air when breathing in. They then spring back during breathing out in order to expel the carbon dioxide-rich air.
Farmers lung and pneumoconiosis are both the result of breathing in certain dust or mould particulars. There are others such as congestion of the lungs, inflammation of the throat a foreign body stuck in the throat, like I said there are quite a few reason why one could end up with breathing problems.
Why do they use drugs
Combined or single preparations often with an analgesic can be bought as an over the counter medicine to help clear air ways soothe inflammation and reduce the build up of mucus. Mucus is often the result of swollen membrane that line the nasal passages and produce an excessive amount of mucus due to infection (such as cold, allergy).
Decongestants would help to reduce the swelling inside the nose, the knock on effect would be to make breathing that much easier. However, the problem may not be the result of a cold bug the problem may be the result of an allergy. If this is the case an antihistamine would be necessary to relieve symptoms and reduce further attacks. If your problem was an infection of the respiratory tract this would probably need treated with antibiotics.
When air enters the lungs it passes through tubes called bronchioles. In bronchitis and asthma these tube walls become much narrower making breathing difficult, it can happen as a result of muscle contraction or mucus congestion. In this instance drugs known as Bronchodilators are used to widen the tubes These drugs are used to relieve and prevent asthma attacks.
Corticosteroids are a common part of treatment where the problem is thought to be inflammation and can be given by mouth or as an inhalant to treat asthma and relieve inflammation in the inner layers of the airways. However, these type of drugs do not bring relief once an asthma attack is in progress. These kind of drugs reduce inflammation. This is done by blocking the action of chemicals called prostagllandins that are responsible for activating the inflammatory response.
Although most annoying to both you and the people around you a cough is actually a defence mechanism so If it’s a cough that you have then there are a number of drugs that can be used to relieve it. Some work on the phlegm making it easier for the body to eliminate it. While others work on suppressing the cough reflex.
From Black pepper to herbal tea an annoying cough can also be relieved by the use of home remedies. but remember a persistent cough that beats everything you throw at it should (in my opinion) could be the result of something a little more serious and you should take it along to your doctor (with yourself of course).