Reactive airway disease (RAD) is the general term used to diagnose patients that exhibit symptoms similar to that of asthma. The two are often used interchangeably, however, RAD is more often used as a diagnosis or indicator of other respiratory diseases. A person with RAD will exhibit symptoms that indicate the presence of irritation in the airways. It normally develops after the person is exposed to an infection.
This causes the airways to become more sensitive and vulnerable to irritants, which results in swelling and inflammation. Some possible irritants include smoke, dust, pet hair, and molds. A person is at a greater risk of developing reactive airway disease if they smoke cigarettes. This causes regular irritation and damage to the airways as well as the lungs. This also poses a greater risk of developing more serious illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. Being aware of the signs and symptoms can help to address this condition.
1. Bronchial spasm
Bronchial spasms or bronchospasms result from the amplified vulnerability of the airways to external triggers. Triggers, such as allergens or chemicals, can cause the muscles near the airways to become pinched and constricted. This causes the airway to become more narrow and results in breathing difficulties and wheezing. Moreover, it also limits the amount of oxygen that enters the blood and the amount of carbon dioxide released from it.
This creates a greater risk to develop hypoxia wherein certain parts of the body lack an adequate supply of oxygen. Other risk factors that contribute to this condition are medical history, smoking, exposure to certain substances, infection in the lungs, and lung diseases. It could also be a side effect of exposure to certain drugs like beta-blockers and pilocarpine. However, this condition is reversible with proper treatment. It is more frequently an indicator of other respiratory diseases and is not a diagnosis in itself.