What is Asthma?

astmaAsthma is a widespread chronic disease that affects both children and adults. In recent decades there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from asthma. Modern asthma treatments provide effective help for the vast majority of people but some people continue to have symptoms and to have asthma attacks that require them to be admitted to hospital in spite of intensive treatment with various types of asthma medication.

Asthma is a common condition that is associated with airway inflammation.

People with asthma experience symptoms when their airways are constricted, inflamed or filled with mucus. Common symptoms of asthma include:

• Coughing, especially at night

• Wheezing

• Difficulty breathing

• Tight chest, chest pains

Asthma is sub-divided into different groups depending on what triggers the inflammation. Atopic asthma or allergic asthma is triggered by an over-sensitivity to certain common particles, such as particles from mites, dogs and cats.

Allergic asthma is sub-divided into perennial and seasonal asthma. Perennial asthma produces symptoms throughout the year. Seasonal asthma only occurs at certain times of the year.

To find out more about asthma, visit the Asthma and Allergy Association’s website.