Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.


Asthma is a Lung Disease

Asthma is a lung disease that causes the air tubes to narrow. Here’s how these air tubes get smaller:
1) Spasm. Muscles around the airways tighten.
2) Swelling. The air tubes become inflamed and sensitive.
3) Extra mucus. This sticky, thick liquid clogs parts of the air tubes.

Key Terms
Bronchus | One air tube or airway.
Bronchi | Multiple air tubes or airways. These allow air to move in and out of the lungs.

Symptoms | Asthma symptoms are variable. This means that the symptoms can get both better and worse.

Patients with asthma may experience one or more of these symptoms:
1) Wheezing. A squeaky, whistling sound when breathing.
2) Chest tightness.
3) Cough, often at night.
4) Shortness of breath.

More on asthma symptoms:
• Sometimes, the symptoms may just be annoying.
• Other times, the trouble breathing may get bad enough to become scary and even severe enough to cause some patients with asthma to be hospitalized or even die from an asthma attack.

Currently, there is no cure for asthma and it can flare up at any time.

So, what can we do? | When patients with asthma and their healthcare professionals work as a team to manage the asthma properly, most patients live long and active lives.

Here, we discuss what may trigger asthma symptoms and list the many specific triggers.

Triggers | These are things that make asthma symptoms worse for patients. The triggers irritate the airways.

Please avoid these three common triggers for asthmas whenever possible:
1) Allergies and allergens
2) Irritants to the airways
3) Strong emotions

Common Triggers | Allergies
You may be allergic to:
1) The pollens of flowers, grasses, and trees.
2) Animal fur.
3) Cockroaches.
4) Dust.
5) Mold.

Triggers that may be irritating to the airways:
1) Cigarette smoke.
2) Chemicals.
3) Perfumes.
4) Respiratory infections.
5) Some medicines and chemicals in foods.

Allergens also include:
1) Animal fur.
2) Cockroaches.
3) Dust.
4) Mold.
5) Respiratory infections.
6) Some medicines and chemicals in food and drinks.

Common Triggers | Exercise
Although exercise is a trigger for patients with asthma, it is important for them to remain active and continue to exercise as much as possible.

Common Triggers | Other Diseases
Some other diseases can make it harder to manage asthma:
1) Sinus infections
2) Heartburn. Also call reflux.
3) Emotional stress
4) Runny nose

How WipeDiseases Foundation Helps

We Teach Patients How To:
1) Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider in the most efficient and effective way. We at WipeDiseases Foundation like to call this Medicine as a Second Language.
2) Become a key member of your own healthcare team.

We Teach Healthcare Professionals How To:
1) Communicate with patients more effectively. This includes using plain English.
2) Develop more skills to encourage each patient to actively participate as a key member of the healthcare team.