What causes nocturnal asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Answer

Multiple factors have been proposed to explain nocturnal asthma. Circadian variation in lung function and inflammatory mediator release in the circulation and airways (including parenchyma) have been demonstrated. Other factors, such as allergen exposure and posture-related irritation of airways (eg, gastroesophageal reflux, sinusitis), can also play a role. In some cases, abnormalities in CNS control of the respiratory drive may be present, particularly in patients with a defective hypoxic drive and obstructive sleep apnea.


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