Asthma is known as reactive airway disease and is defined as a chronic lung condition with inflammation (swelling) of the airways, increased sensitivity of the airways to a variety of things that make asthma worse and obstruction of airflow.
Signs and symptoms:
- Increased shortness of breath or wheezing that can be heard by
- others around you
- Waking up at night caused by wheezing, shortness of breath or coughing
- Chest tightness or pain
- Needing bronchodilators more than usual (short acting, rescue medicines)
- A decrease in normal peak flow rates as measured by a peak flow meter
- Coughing, especially if the cough is frequent and occurs in spasms
- Bronchodilators - short or long acting medicines that open up tightened airways and provide temporary relief of symptoms.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines - the mainstay medicines taken daily to prevent asthma attacks. They work by reducing inflammation in your airways and preventing blood vessels from producing extra mucus in the airway tissue.
- Allergy shots - may help prevent attacks by making you less sensitive to the allergens that cause the attack.