Why Does Parasympathetic Nervous System Trigger Asthma Attack

Why Does Parasympathetic Nervous System Trigger Asthma Attack ?

The autonomous nervous system is divided into 2, namely the SNS (sympathetic nervous system) and PNS (parasympathetic nervous system). These 2 systems are very essential for the vital functions of the body. As a matter of fact, these 2 systems actually work contrary to each other. The SNS uses the metabolism to create various different effects on the body. On the other hand, the PNS produces opposite effects by slowing down the metabolism. For instance, in the respiratory system, the SNS causes the airways to expand when under stress, but the PNS causes the airways to constrict after the stressful period is over.


The nervous system is made up of the brain, nerves that control the body functions and the spinal cord. The nerves in different parts of the body have something called the receptors. The receptors gather impulses from different parts of the body and transport them to the brain for processing. The nerve network is vast in the body and is very efficient.

The nerve system itself is divided into the central nervous system, which connects the spinal cord, brain and PNS, which control the autonomous functions or the involuntary response. Several organs and blood vessels come under this category. The autonomic nervous system is again divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The PNS controls the actions when we are sleeping, for instance.

When it comes to the lungs, the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for certain respiratory functions like relaxing the airways. The parasympathetic nervous system produces opposite reactions like constricting the airways. For a person with normal lungs, both these functions work well in coordination. The airflows into the lungs and out of it are natural. However, a person with irregular lung conditions like asthma, the same coordination is manipulated and causes irregular reactions. Unnecessary chemicals are produced that alter the status of the lungs and its functions.

All the parts of the body secrete neurotransmitters which communicate with other nerves of the body. The sympathetic nervous system brings about the secretion of hormones like adrenaline and non adrenaline like epinephrine, for instance. They are released in large amounts by the adrenalin gland when the body is under stress. The nerve endings respond to the stimulus created by various glands. The alpha receptors cause activity in the reactions of the body and whereas beta receptors, cause the relaxation of heart muscles and affect the slowing down of them.

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