Asthma… What is it?

Sadly, for many, asthma is just an excuse to miss PE. A good excuse, though real (severe)  sufferers of asthma can feel like they are running a marathon when climbing a set of stairs.

Asthma by definition is common, long term, inflammatory disease of the airways (bronchial tubes) and lungs. Symptoms may include, wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest, and coughing. People may have some symptoms and not others, and some may be more prominent than others. For some people, these symptoms only occur occasionally, however for others symptoms may be more persistent.


There are different types of asthma:

  • Occupational Asthma is caused by the work you do. Symptoms become apparent when you’re an adult, and they tend to improve on day’s you are not at work. This asthma is common if you work in industries such as a bakery, laboratory, or car manufacturer.
  • Adult onset Asthma is when diagnosis is given in adulthood and is not due to your job. The asthma may have been brought on by smoking, obesity or sometimes female hormones after a stressful event could bring it on. Triggers of adult asthma may include things like laughing or getting excited.
  • Difficult to control or severe asthma, is pretty much what it says on the tin. These people usually fall into two groups. Group 1 is a group where symptoms can be controlled with the right medicine. Treatment for this group involves, learning how to take a dosage of medicine properly for Asthma and learning how to control your triggers. Group 2 is for sufferers who don’t respond to conventional Asthma medicines. They are usually referred to a specialized asthma service for their ongoing care and treatment because their asthma is more complex, they have severe asthma.
  • Childhood asthma is when asthma is diagnosed during childhood. Many sufferers find their asthma disappears as they get older. However if the child has moderate asthma the symptoms are likely to return in later life.
  • Seasonal asthma is when people on experience symptoms at certain times of the year. Triggers of this type of asthma can be things such as a high pollen count.


For many asthmatics, asthma attacks are common. When symptoms get worse than usual for a period of time, it is possible the person is having an asthma attack. Common features of asthma attacks are that your inhaler isn’t helping or lasting over four hours, you’re too breathless, or its difficult to talk eat or sleep. Your breathing may picking up speed and you do not feel as if you are inhaling properly.


If you are around a person having an asthma attack, sit them up, and give them their inhaler. They can have a maximum of 10 puffs and if symptoms do not relieve after that call for an ambulance.

Thank you for reading.

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