Asthma

Asthma

What is asthma?

Airways in the lungs become narrower, making it hard for air to move in and out when you breathe. Tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways (bronchoconstriction), extra mucus and swelling of the airway linings all add to the narrowing, which is called obstruction.

These extra-sensitive airways become hyper-reactive or “twitchy” to things that do not bother people with normal lungs. The “twitchy” lungs over-react to cold air, exercise, smoke and other normal irritants. The resulting obstruction and hyper-reactive response cause the asthma symptoms below which usually come in “waves” called flares or asthma attacks.

What are the common symptoms of asthma?

  • Frequent dry cough, especially at night
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure

Allergic Asthma

Allergic Asthma is triggered by an allergen (for example, pollen or mold spores). According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, half of the 20 million Americans with asthma have allergic asthma.

The narrowed airway makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. As a result, people with asthma feel they cannot get enough air. All of these changes make breathing difficult.

Not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. You may not have all of these asthma symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times of the day or night or seasons of the year. Your symptoms may also vary from one asthma episode to the next. Symptoms may be mild during one asthma episode and severe during another.

Mild asthma episodes are generally more common. Usually, the airways open up within a few minutes to a few hours. Severe episodes are less common, but last longer and require immediate medical help. It is important to recognize and treat even mild symptoms to help you prevent severe episodes and keep asthma in control.

If you suffer from allergies and asthma, a reaction to any offending allergy-causing substance can worsen asthma symptoms.

Asthma and allergy often go together. If you suffer from allergy or asthma, call us to help you take control of your asthma rather than your asthma controlling YOU!