What is ASTHMA
Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.
It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults. At least 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults have asthma. Asthma runs in some families but many people with asthma have no other family members affected.
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What causes ASTHMA
The exact causes of asthma is unknown. People with asthma have swollen (inflammed) and "sensitive" airways that become narrow and clogged with sticky mucis in response to certain triggers.
Genetics, pollution and modern hygiene stanards have been suggested as causes, but there is not currently enough evidence to know if any of these do cause asthma.
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Do I have ASTHMA?
Asthma can usually be diagnosed from your symptoms and some simple tests. A specialist Nurse or GP will probably be able to diagnose it, but they may refer you to a specialist if they are not sure.
Key symptoms of asthma include wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest (it may feel like a band is tightening around it) and coughing. Many things can cause these symptoms, but they are more likely to be asthma if they happen often and keep coming back, are worse at night and early in the morning, seem to happen in response to an asthma trigger like exercise or an allergy.
What treatment is available ?
There is currently no cure for asthma, but treatment can help control the symptoms so you are able to live a normal and active life.
Inhalers, devices that let you breathe in medicine, are the main treatment. Tablets and other treatments may also be needed if your asthma is severe. Medicines delivered by inhalers can be grouped into relievers, preventers, and long-acting bronchodilators.
To learn more about inhalers, click here.
To read more about treatment for asthma, click here.
I want to learn more. Are there any online videos I can watch?
Yes there is. The NHS has put together a number of videos. You can search for these on Youtube. A selection, however, are as follow: