About Asthma

Understanding Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which breathing passages (airways) become narrow, swollen and make extra mucus. The cause is not yet known. It cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.

In order to understand asthma and its treatment, you must know how normal breathing occurs. When you breathe in, air is taken in through the nose and mouth. The air travels to the lungs through tubes called airways, when you breathe out, old air leaves the lungs n the reverse order.

Asthma Triggers

People with asthma have airways which are sensitive to certain “triggers” such as:

  • Dander from the skin, hair or feathers of all warm blooded pets (including dogs, cats, birds, and small rodents)
  • Scented products such as hair spray and perfume
  • House dust mites
  • Fresh paint or cooking odors
  • Cockroaches
  • Car fumes
  • Pollens from grass, trees
  • Air pollution
  • Mold
  • Upper airway infections such as colds
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Exercise
  • Wood smoke
  • Changes in weather or temperature
  • Emotions such as crying

When people with asthma come in contact with a trigger, they may experience one or more asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest or cough lasting more than a week.

These triggers may also start an asthma episode (attack):

  • The linings of the airways become swollen (inflamed)
  • The airways produce a thick mucus
  • The muscles around the airways tighten, making the airways more narrow

These changes in the airways block the flow of air, making it hard to breathe.

Controlling Asthma

To prevent asthma symptoms, work closely with your doctor to develop a medicine plan, and plan ways to avoid contact with your triggers.

You can download an Asthma Control Test here: 

Or at the Download Section of our website.