asthma is a chronic, long-term condition that can be managed but not cured. asthma affects the airwaysof your lungs. it causes the airwaysto narrow and swell, resulting in wheezing and difficulty breathing. during breathing, or respiration, air goes in through our noseor mouth... ..to the upper airways,
at which pointit reaches the windpipe,... ..which branches intotwo large bronchi... ..to reach the lungs. the lungs are protected by the ribcage, which also contains the musclesthat control your breathing. in asthma, the airways are oversensitive and easily irritated by certaintriggers, called asthmatic triggers. most people with asthmaare described as atopic, meaning they have an allergic-typereaction to external triggers, such as:
however, for some people,the onset of asthma is unpredictable and may be caused by anxiety, stress or even laughter. an asthmatic triggercauses the airway walls to swell... ..and the muscles around the airwaysto contract. the airways narrow, and breathing through them producesa whistling sound called wheezing. mucus is producedfrom the lining of the airways, which clogs up the narrowed airwaysfurther and causes coughing.
this makes normal breathingmore difficult, producing symptoms of asthmathat can be mild,... moderate,... or severe and life threatening,where hospital treatment is needed. the narrowing of the airwaysis reversible if the trigger is removed or if the inflammationis treated medically. therefore, preventative treatmentis used and can be managedby the patient themselves.
an acute asthma attackrequires medical intervention but the type of interventiondepends on the severity of the attack.