Asthma is a lung disease that results in repeated breathing problems. People with asthma have lungs that are super sensitive to things they encounter in the environment. This causes frequent asthma attacks, which include the symptoms of wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
cat dander, dust mites, mold
smoke, strong odors, sprays
cold air, pollution, exercise
Airway Tube During Asthma Attack
Mucus build up
Normal Airway Tube
An asthma attack is caused by a narrowing of the airways in the lung. In response to an environmental trigger, airways become inflamed or swollen and begin to produce mucus. The muscles around the airways contract, further narrowing the opening and making it difficult to breathe. This narrowing may reverse naturally with time, or with treatment and medication.
Asthma is a complex disease that is influenced by many genes and environmental factors. But it is safe to say that asthma often runs in families. If someone in your family has asthma, you may have inherited factors that make you more susceptible to this disease.
There is not a whole lot you can do to reduce your risk of developing asthma. If you have asthma, medical advice
is necessary to help treat and manage your symptoms. Visit your doctor to identify what may trigger your asthma
attacks, and receive medications that will both prevent and treat such attacks.
If you tend to develop asthma with exercise, there are certain precautions that can be taken to minimize negative effects when engaged in physical activity.
. Try to exercise indoors as much as possible.
. Exercise at moderate to low intensity levels.
. Warm up and cool down for adequate periods of time.
. Breathe slowly and through your nose.
. Use an inhalant (nebulizer) if prescribed by a physician.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease (one that cannot be cured) that affects children and young adults. In the United States, one child out of every fifteen has some degree of asthma.
Supported by the Utah Department of Health Chronic Disease Genomics Program through Cooperative Agreement Number U58/CCU822802 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.