This post is the second in a series taken from the article by Keith Wassung entitled “Asthma and Chiropractic: A Research Review”. This series focuses on Asthma, the epidemic, the anatomy of an asthma attack, conventional treatment, and chiropractic care. This week’s post looks at the anatomy of an asthma attack.

An asthma attack is caused by an inflammatory response which causes constriction of the bronchial tubes.

“Several studies have shown that the incidence of asthma and allergies tends to rise in countries where childhood immunization rates are high. This has prompted some researchers to suggest that certain infections may trigger immune changes that protect children from developing asthma and allergies later. Preliminary studies have shown a protective effect of measles and infections with intestinal parasites.” 5
– Science News

An asthma attack can be triggered by different types of irritants including dust, pollen, ragweed, aspirin, cockroaches, perfume, stress, dust mites, pet hair, food additives, and occupational vapors.

Although these things may trigger an attack, they are not the primary cause of the attack. Research has shown that there are several factors that contribute to asthma, including the recent increased use of antibiotics and vaccines.

“With the rise of vaccine and antibiotics, people in developed countries have experienced fewer serious childhood infections than ever before and scientists suspect that an immune system with no serious work to do is likely to become a renegade army, attacking whatever irritant it encounters.” 6


  1. Raloff, J. (1997, January 25). Or childhood vaccinations? Science News.
  2. Underwood, Why Ebonie can’t breathe. Newsweek, 59-64.