Asthma is a chronic airway disease that can
negatively affect a patient’s breathing. During an asthma attack, the inside walls of the
airways become inflamed and swollen. This causes the airways
become narrower and decreases the amount of air that can come in and out of the lungs. Symptoms of asthma include:
Wheezing Coughing, especially early in the morning
or at night Chest tightness
Shortness of breath Not all people who have asthma have all of
these symptoms. These symptoms alone don’t always indicate a case of asthma.
Allergens, such as pollen and animal dander and Air pollutants, and irritants, such as
cigarette smoke, can trigger asthma. Cold weather and exercise are also common triggers.
Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care. Asthma is commonly treated with two kinds
of medication: quick-relief ‘rescue’ medications such as albuterol to stop asthma symptoms,
and long term treatments like inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene antagonists to provide sustained
relief. Asthma patients should be very aware of their
asthma triggers and keep a rescue inhaler nearby at all times. Asthma in children can
be especially dangerous so parents should learn the signs of an asthma attack and what
to do. Make sure if you have asthma to take your medications regularly and to have a plan
whenever you may have an asthma attack.