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What is Asthma? Symptoms and Risks


1st Jan 2015 Health Conditions

What is Asthma? Symptoms and Risks
Asthmatic patients generally have intermittent asthma attacks, have symptoms at particular times of the day or have recurrent symptoms throughout the day. Learn more about the symptoms of asthma.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms:

  • Tightening feeling in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping due to coughing and wheezing
If the above symptoms start to become more frequent or if patients find themselves reaching for the quick-relief inhaler on a regular basis, they may need to adjust their treatment or seek emergency treatment.

How is an asthma attack triggered?

Patients who experience moments of extreme breathlessness and tightening of the chest are likely to be having an asthma attack. In the majority of reported cases, patients can experience asthma symptoms but not experience an actual attack. Overall, asthmatic people react badly to particular types of foods, dust mites, anti-inflammatory medication and certain pollutants, scents or tobacco smoke. They need to be particularly careful at the gym because vigorous physical exercise may also cause an asthma attack.

Other risk factors

A number of the following factors could increase the likelihood of getting asthma:
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being a long term smoker
  • Having a parent or sibling with asthma
  • Constant exposure to exhaust fumes and other harmful pollutants
  • Having a different allergic condition, such as dermatitis
Having chronic asthma symptoms can be stressful to live with, however it should not limit the patient in any way. One of the best ways to deal with any feelings of helplessness associated with asthma is to fully understand the condition and choose an appropriate treatment.
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