Asthma: symptoms and causes

Asthma  is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways (tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs). Asthma has following symptoms;

  • recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound while breathing),
  • tightness in the chest,
  • shortness of breath,
  • coughing (often occurs at night or early in the morning).
  • restless sleep
  • tiredness

Causes of Asthma

A person having asthma has inflamed airways. Inflammation makes the airways swollen and very sensitive. In this situation the airways tend to react strongly to certain substances that are breathed in. Inflammation can also reduce the amount of air that we can take in or breathe out.

The reaction of airways makes the muscles around them tighten causing the airways to narrow, allowing less flow of air to the lungs. This tightening is often called “bronchoconstriction,” and it can make it hard for us to breathe. The cells in the airways produce more mucus (sticky thick liquid) than normal, which can further narrow the airways.
The occurrence of this chain reaction results in the symptoms of asthma. Symptoms can happen each time the airways are irritated. When symptoms become intense and/or additional symptoms appear, this is called an asthma attack. Asthma attacks are also called as flare-ups or exacerbations.
Asthma can affect people of all ages, but it most often starts in the childhood.

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