Asthma is a disease that inflames and narrows your airways making it difficult to breathe. Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases of children; however, it affects adults too.
Common signs of asthma include:
- Asthma cough – cough that frequently worsens with exercise and at night, often causing waking from sleep
- Wheezing - a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when breathing
- Chest tightness - may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest
- Shortness of breath - trouble catching your breath or difficulty moving air in or out of lungs
An asthma attack is a more severe kind of asthma and includes the symptoms listed above. In an asthma attack, as air moves through your lungs your airways become smaller and the lungs swell. Less air can move in and out of your lungs making it harder to breathe.
Asthma is a long-term disease. In most cases, we don’t know how to cure it. However, asthma relief is achievable by controlling your asthma triggers.
Common asthma triggers include:
- Allergens - small particles from dust, animal skin, mold, pollens from trees, grasses and weeds, and cockroaches
- Irritants - cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals or dust in the workplace, strong smelling cleaning products, perfumes or personal products such as hairspray
- Medicines such as aspirin or other nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta-blockers
- Sulfites in foods and drinks
- Viral upper respiratory infections, such as colds
- Physical activity, including exercise
When trying to find asthma relief it is a good idea to start by identifying your asthma triggers. Keep track of when your asthma symptoms occur, how severe they are and ideas around what could have triggered it. You may be able to manage your asthma buy managing your asthma triggers, if not, make an appointment with an allergist to help you come up with new ideas for asthma relief.