Asthma is a respiratory disease that impacts the airways of the lungs. Asthma is a chronic condition, and it can cause significant problems with breathing
During an asthma attack, the inflammation present in the breathing passages makes the lining of those passages swell up, sometimes to the point of them being nearly swollen shut. This results in an inability to breathe normally, which is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and, in some cases, a feeling of panic / anxiety.
Triggers can vary widely from one person to the next. Some people are triggered by exercise, especially exercise that requires them to breathe heavily through their mouths. Other kinds of physical exertion can also trigger asthma attacks; for example, laughing or crying can start an attack in some situations. Many people have asthma attacks that are triggered by airborne allergens such as pollen or contaminants, as well. In some cases, extreme temperatures can be an asthma trigger, particularly very humid and very cold weather. Common allergens like pet dander and dust mites are often triggers for asthma attacks, too.
Asthma is treated in several different ways. If allergies also exist, which is common in asthma patients, those allergies can be treated to lessen the asthma symptoms as well. Controller medications are sometimes prescribed for patients with chronic asthma. These medications reduce inflammation within the lungs. Controller medicines need to be used every day, regardless of whether symptoms are currently present, to work properly. Rescue medications are another option for asthma treatment. These medications can be used after an asthma attack has already started. Rescue medications will stop the attack. Each asthma patient requires their own customized approach to treatment, so patients may have more than one type of asthma treatment.