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Active Member
Sep 10, 2004

What is Asthma?
Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease of the lungs and airways (bronchi) that affects 5 people in every 100. In children, this figure is higher and rising.
Asthma is characterised by attacks of breathlessness, tight chest, wheezing and coughing which are caused by the airways becoming narrowed and inflamed. Some people may have these symptoms all of the time and others may be normal between attacks.

How do you get Asthma?
Asthma can arise at any age, but why some people have the disease and others don't is not known. People with asthma have airways that are more sensitive than normal.
  • Doctors know, however, that asthma can sometimes run in families.
  • Asthma attacks can be set off by many different things, these are called triggers. Examples include cold air, vigorous exercise and stress.
  • These triggers may also include 'allergens'. These are present in the environment and contain chemicals that trigger allergic reactions.
  • Allergens include, for example, pollen, animal danders, house dust, pollution, some foods, perfumes and cigarette smoke.
  • Allergens cause the lining of the airways to become swollen and inflamed. It produces extra mucus and the muscles of the airways tighten. There is then less room for the air to pass in and out.
  • Attacks may be more frequent or severe in people who have a chest infection.
How is Asthma treated?
There is no cure for asthma, but there are different types of medicines that will help to keep it under control and relieve symptoms.
  • Most sufferers must be given a type of medicine called a preventer, which is usually an anti-inflammatory steroid (of the glucocorticosteroid type) that treats the underlying causes of the asthma. These are usually given from an inhaler.
  • Even if symptoms are not present, sufferers should keep taking the preventer medicines, as this will greatly decrease the risk of suffering asthma attacks. This will help many asthmatics to live a normal active life.
  • One type of preventer can be taken as tablets and can be used together with steroids.
  • Another sort of medicine is called a reliever that is used during an asthma attack and may be contained in an inhaler. This contains a bronchodilator medicine that opens up the air passages (bronchial tubes) of the lungs and works in a few minutes.
Thanks for posting this, I have asthma, [So I guess I'm 5 in 100!] and sometimes it can get bad!

A trick I'll share in case you get in a sticky situation like I have experienced;

If you start to choke and can't breathe for any reason, run hot water [preferably in a shower] and go basically into it. It'll help clear up your congestion and help you to catch your breath back again.

That's what my doctor told me & anyways I like this thread because it definitely informed me of what I didn't know.
I have asthma too and it came with me when I was born. I have my inhalers with me all the time and suffered from it when I was pregnant too. Exercise gets rid of it in my case so I swim to avoid having severe asthma attacks.
I also have asthma when i was younger. They used to tell stories to me that when i was still a baby, i was usually i a hospital monthly. When i get older, i am taking some medicines for it to be cured. And luckily it was totally gone as i involved myself on different activities like sports.
I have also asthma. The symptoms became less severe as I aged. I used to get asthma attacks a lot but haven't had one in years. Exercise was a touchy issue for me. As many posters have noted, exercise improves breathing since it stimulates the release of anti-histamines. In my case, it provoked attacks when I was younger. I was always exempt from running or other strenuous activities in gym class. Unfortunately, lack of exercise has turned into a bad habit for me, even though I can run a bit without problems.