Things To Know If You Have Asthma

What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic breathing problem. Approximately 15 million people in the United States suffer with asthma. The signs include cough which can occur at rest or after exercise, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. These signs are caused by inflammation (swelling) of the lining of the airways and constriction (narrowing) of the airways, which are the tubes that carry air in your lungs.

Is asthma a serious health problem?
Asthma can be a life-threatening condition if it is not properly taken care of. However, with appropriate care, people with asthma can live normal lives.

Who gets asthma?
People of all ages can get asthma, but in the United States, more than 4.8 million children have asthma. Some will outgrow it, but most of them will have it all of their lives. Adults may get afflicted with asthma even though they did not have it as children.

What causes an asthma attack?
When an irritant affects your airways and triggers an asthma attack, you will usually feel an increase in symptoms such as chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, difficulty speaking, shortness of breath, and blue lips/skin. Attacks can range from mild to severe. Severe signs suggest a severe attack and require medical attention immediately. Because an asthma attack can be life threatening, it is important not to wait to get emergency care.

What are some of the triggers of an asthma attack?
Perfume Heavy exercise Cold air Animal dander Cigarette smoke Dust mites ·Occupational chemicals and gases

Staying away from substances and fumes that can irritate your airways can control asthma attacks.

Asthma attack-know what to do!
Sit the person comfortably upright and leaning forward slightly. Most asthma patients carry a puffer (inhaler) -- give 4 puffs initially. Wait 4 minutes. If there is no improvement, give another 4 puffs. If there is little or no improvement, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.