Asthma is a long-term disease of the airways in the lungs. People with asthma have sensitive airways which react when exposed to a trigger. This reaction in the airways causes three changes to occur.
- The muscles around the outside of the airways tighten.
- The lining on the inside of the airways become red and swollen.
- More mucous is produced.
These three changes narrow the airways making it harder to move the air in and out causing shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. When this occurs we call it "an exacerbation or flare up of your Asthma".
There are many triggers for Asthma which vary from person to person. The most common ones include: viruses, cold air, cigarette smoke and hay fever.
Currently there is no cure but with good management most people with Asthma can lead an active and normal life. There are many famous people with Asthma which include David Beckham (professional soccer player), Elizabeth Taylor (actress), Pink (singer) and Taylor Walker (Adelaide Crows captain).
Good asthma management includes:
- education to better understand what you are dealing with
- how to best use the medications, how they work and how to take them correctly
- having a written action plan to help you self-manage your asthma including flare ups
- Asthma first aid management for severe episodes
- Lung function testing to monitor your lung capacity helping in your long-term Asthma care