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Gas Exchange

Breath is "a set of the physiological processes providing a continuous intake of oxygen to the tissue, its use in oxidizing reactions as well as a removal from an organism being formed in the course of a metabolism of a carbon dioxide and partially water". (Vander, 2001) A nasal cavity, a throat, bronchial tubes and lungs belong to a system of respiratory organs.

Breath consists of the following main stages:

  • the external or pulmonary breath providing gas exchange between lungs and the environment;
  • gas exchange between alveolar air and a blue blood flowing to lungs;
  • transport of gases by blood;
  • gas exchange between arterial blood and tissue;
  • tissue or internal breath (oxygen consumption by cells).

Gas exchange "belongs to an exchange process of gases between an environment and an organism". In the course of breath the human body inhales oxygen from the environment, exhales out a carbon dioxide, including a water vapor and gaseous products of a metabolism.

In each cell of an organism there is "a process of the carbon dioxide release and the oxygen consumption" . The dissimilation representing a substantially oxidizing process is impossible (disintegration of proteins, fats and carbohydrates arriving with food) without an oxygen.

During the oxidation of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the energy, which turns into a mechanical work and heat, is released. The quantity of oxygen consumption and a carbon dioxide release by an organism changes, depending on an ambient temperature, activity conditions, a structure of the eaten food and other factors.

In cold weather there is a gas exchange increase that leads to a heat return increase in an organism which protects it from overcooling. Gas exchange also increases after ingestion, especially if food contains many proteins.

The intensity of gas exchange reaches its maximum value at muscular activity. Thus the oxygen consumption depends on the work intensity. In comparison with the oxygen consumption in a condition of the absolute rest, a necessary oxygen quantity can increase to 10 times and more.

The regulation of gas exchange occurs thanks to the help of the nervous system. Owing to increase of oxygen requirement, complicated changes of all systems and organs arise in an organism. They intend to provide a required transport of gases: changes of physical and chemical blood structure, blood circulation and breath strengthening.

The respiratory system, as well as other physiological systems of an organism, has specialized protective mechanisms intended for the prevention of possible violations in their functioning. For example, protective respiratory reflexes a sneezing and a cough promote removal of the foreign bodies which get into respiratory tracts, surpluses of the slime which is formed during inflammatory diseases, etc. Despite the existence of protective mechanisms, respiratory organs are extremely sensitive to the influence of various physical and chemical factors which are found at the polluted atmospheric air. For the prevention of diseases of respiratory organs it is necessary to air rooms, to go for long walks in the open, air etc.

The negative influence on respiratory organs (and on the whole organism) is rendered by such addictions as the use of alcohol and smoking. The alcohol is mostly removed from an organism through lungs, thus damaging a lung tissue and mucous membranes of respiratory tracts. Nicotine and other substances, containing in a tobacco smoke, slow down the formation of a surfactant in alveoli of lungs, and the smoker should make more efforts to implement respiratory movements (breath). The substances which promote the formation and growth of malignant tumors (a lung cancer, a throat cancer) are found as a part of a tobacco smoke. Smokers have much more often such lung diseases as chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema of lungs, etc.

Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease affecting to 8 % of the population. It is based on an allergic inflammation of a mucous membrane of bronchial tubes. The illness increases respiratory tract sensitivity to the effect of allergens and irritating substances, thus the contact with them provokes a spasm of bronchial tubes and increases a production of a mucous secret.

Basic therapy items are rational use of pills (the inhalation way is preferable); a gradational approach to treatment (depending on a severity of illness); a treatment control of the doctor; carrying out anti-inflammatory preventive treatment up to the achievement of permanent remission.

For the treatment of bronchial asthma the medical products differing on the mechanism of action and application tactics are used.

At the moment of a bad bronchial asthma attack the therapy is directed on the elimination of the main components of asthma (a spasm of bronchial tubes; the increased allocation of slime in a gleam of bronchial tubes). This therapy is called "symptomatic as it helps to reduce and to eliminate illness symptoms, facilitates health of the patient". This therapy does not affect an allergic inflammation and hyper sensibility of respiratory tracts - the main mechanisms of bronchial asthma development.

After stopping the illness attack the purpose of therapy is a prevention of attack repetition that can be reached owing to a combination of drug and non-drug methods of treatment. "The drug therapy, allowing to prevent an exacerbation of bronchial asthma by reducing or stopping an allergic inflammation of respiratory tracts, is called a basic therapy". The basic therapy in a combination to a complex of hypoallergenic measures (allergen elimination) makes treatment successful and helps to control a clinical course of bronchial asthma.

Now "a gradational approach at which the therapy intensity increases in the process of the disease severity growth is applied at the bronchial asthma treatment". Such approach allows supervising the clinical course of the disease with the application of the smallest amount of medicines. The dose and frequency of medication increase in the period of aggravation of bronchial asthma and decrease while controlling it.

In case of the selection of the adequate treatment of bronchial asthma it is necessary to speak about a controllable clinical course of the disease.

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