A chronic long term condition that affects the small air passages in the lungs.
When an asthmatic person comes into contact with a trigger, the muscle wall of the air passages contract, making the airways narrow and become inflamed and swollen. a sticky mucus is produced by the cells lining the air passages that causes further narrowing.
This produces symptoms of:
The triggers for the attacks are varied and include:
Those affected by it may have a family history of asthma, eczema and hay fever and other allergies, although that is not always the case.
Many in the UK are affected by asthma and numbers seem to be increasing. Sadly eight people a day are hospitalized due to their asthma and up to 3 people a day die from it. It is a condition that is usually managed well with a combination of medication to both prevent attacks occurring and reliever medication for when the attacks actually occur.
Most asthmatics should carry their prescribed medication to relieve attacks with them. These are the steps that should be followed if someone is having an attack. The patient should:
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