Everyone's asthma is different. Learn about the most important facts you need to know.
Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by difficulty in breathing. People with asthma have acute episodes when the airways get irritated and react with narrowing or obstructing. Breathing becomes difficult. Asthma symptoms can include:
These problems are caused by an oversensitivity of the lungs and airways which overact to certain triggers and become inflamed and clogged.
The basic cause of the lung abnormality in asthma is not yet known. There are lots of conducive factors why someone can develop asthma, as for example some aspects of modern lifestyles, such as housing and diet, might be responsible. Smoking during pregnancy is known to increase the chance of your child developing asthma. There is currently no evidence that traffic pollution causes asthma, although poor air quality can make your asthma worse.
Triggers irritate the airways and result in bronchoconstriction. Common triggers are cold air, cigarette smoke, allergies to pollen, furry or feathery animals, house-dust mites, extreme exercise or emotional upsets.
Everyone's asthma is different and you will probably have several triggers.
Unfortunately, there is no cure. However, asthma can be controlled with proper treatment. People with asthma can use medicine prescribed by their physician to prevent or relieve their symptoms. By educating themselves about medication and other asthma management strategies, most people can gain control of the disease and live an active life.
Yes, smoking can make your asthma worse - the asthma symptoms will be worse and harder to control. It may also cause long-term damage to your lungs. Many people are affected by passive smoking. Smoking during pregnancy is known to increase the chance of your child developing asthma. If you smoke, you will increase your chances of developing many other health problems.
As long as your asthma is well-controlled, you should be able to modestly exercise. Any form of exercises that teach proper breathing techniques, e.g. Yoga, can be beneficial for people with asthma. If you find that exercise makes your asthma worse, talk to your physician as this could be a sign that your medication needs to be reviewed.
Respiratory diseases can be well managed with inhalation therapy as the dose reaches the bronchioles and the lung area. Compared with MDIs or dry powder inhalers, nebulisers allow the medication to be more efficiently deposited with less co-ordination problems.
Consequently, the medication is uniformly deposited within the upper and lower respiratory tract where it has maximal effect. Further advantages are that the airways are moistened and the medicine can be very simply inhaled.
Side effects of treatment are reduced when using inhalation devices as opposed to MDI and dry powder inhalers as less medication remains in the mouth, where it has no benefit. Inhalation devices are therefore particularly suitable for patients with chronic respiratory diseases, children and older patients.