Asthma is a common lung condition and affects the smaller airways of the lungs. The symptoms of asthma occur when these small airways constrict and therefore become narrow making it difficult to breathe easily.
Asthma often starts in childhood and there may be a family history of it and/or various other 'allergic type' conditions such as hayfever or eczema. In other people there may not be anyone in the family that suffers from the condition.
The typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. The severity and duration of the symptoms can last from person to person and with each flare.
The symptoms of asthma occur due to the narrowing of the small airways. This narrowing can result due to a number of triggers, the common ones include, infections- colds and coughs, pollen, dust, animal danger, exercise and certain medications.
The good news is that asthma can be managed really well with a treatment plan. If a person's asthma is triggered by a precipitant avoiding this will obviously help. There are also other ways to manage the symptoms and medication often involves the use of inhalers.
inhalers are devices that aim to deliver medication effectively to the lungs and can broadly be divided into relievers and preventors.
Relievers aim to relieve the symptoms of asthma by allowing the airway muscles to relax and the airway to open and allow people to breath more easily.
The 'preventor' inhaler aims to prevent the constriction of the airway in the first place and can be started if the reliever inhaler is needed regularly. The aim is to reduce or stop the use of the reliever.
If the symptoms of asthma are not controlled with inhalers, there are other forms of treatment available such as tablets or nebulisers.