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Title: Asphyxiating Asthma
Authors: Chawla, P Cheena
Issue Date: May-2010
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Staying away from stimuli that trigger an asthma attack, knowing the warning signs and timely medication are crucial to control asthma. JUST imagine the human body without the in and out rhythmic flow of breath. It is only at death that the breath and the body separate.It is this constant alternate breathing in of oxygen and breathing out of carbon dioxide that keeps us alive. But this process of breathing is compromised in about 300 million people worldwide who suffer from asthma, as the flow of air through their lungs is obstructed.The inhaled oxygen reaches the lung through the windpipe/trachea, which divides into two large tubes or bronchi, one for each lung. Each bronchus further divides into millions of thin, tiny air passages called bronchial tubes through which the inhaled oxygen passes before it reaches the round structures, present at their tips, called the air sacs or alveoli. These airways become smaller and narrower as they get deeper into the lungs, just like the branches of a tree that are smaller and narrower than the tree trunk.  It is in the alveoli that the exchange of gases occurs, as the inhaled oxygen gets into our bloodstream through the rich capillary network surrounding the alveoli, while carbon dioxide — a by-product of cellular metabolism — passes into the air passages, through the capillary network around alveoli, to be exhaled out through the nostrils.
Page(s): 35-38
ISSN: 0036-8512
Source:SR Vol.47(05) [May 2010]

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