Asthma is a common chronic disease which inflames the airways. The airways are the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.
Asthma causes the airways to become over-sensitive and react to things they would not normally react to, such as cold air or dust mites and even family pets. These are called triggers.
When asthma symptoms are triggered, the muscles around the wall of the airways tighten, making them narrow. The lining of the airways also swells and sticky mucus is produced, clogging up the already narrowed airways. With the airways narrow and clogged up with mucus it becomes difficult to breathe.
This leads to recurrent attacks of the following symptoms, a person with asthma may suffer some of these symptoms, a combination of these symptoms or even all of them;
- chest tightness
Asthma is very common. Around one out of every ten people in the Western World develops asthma at some stage in their life.