What is asthma?
Asthma is a disease of the lungs that affects the airways (bronchi) inside your lungs and causes the tissues that cover the airways to swell, which narrow, making it difficult to breathe. The symptoms associated with asthma (coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath) are the result of this narrowing of the airways. The main factors in the development of asthma are the inflammation of the tissues lining the inside of the airways and the contraction of the muscles surrounding these same airways ( bronchoconstriction ), or both.
Inflammation is sometimes accompanied by increased production of mucus in the airways, which further clogs them. Inflammation makes the airways very sensitive to air pollutants, such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, and animal dander.
When the very sensitive airways constrict too much, the passage of air through the inflamed lungs is obstructed, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma-specific symptoms then appear, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain or tightness. These are typical signs of an asthma attack or an exacerbation of asthma .
Asthma symptoms can range from mild to very severe and can fluctuate in frequency as well. These symptoms can vary from person to person and change from attack to attack. They may appear more frequently at night or early in the morning.
Asthma is a variable disease, which means you can go weeks or even months without symptoms.
The best way to get rid of asthma symptoms is to get it under control. We talk about control when the airways are less sensitive to allergens or irritants that can trigger an asthma attack. Having asthma under control will allow you to lead a normal, healthy life with few symptoms and without missing work or school.
To be successful in controlling your asthma, you need the right tools. One of the effective ways to control your asthma is to have a plan of action. If you don’t already have one, talk to your doctor. This plan should include how to tell if the asthma is getting better or worse, how much you can change the dose of the medicine you are taking, and when to adjust the dose.
Another important way to keep your asthma under control is to learn as much as possible about your disease and stick to your treatment plan.Understand how asthma affects your body, what triggers it, and how to use your inhaler correctly.
Follow your treatment. If you have been prescribed maintenance treatment (a treatment that should be taken on a regular basis), use it regularly, as prescribed by your doctor, even if you do not have any symptoms at the time. If you have any questions related to your asthma, talk to your doctor.