The Exact causes are Unkown.
People with asthma have swollen (inflamed) and "sensitive" airways that become narrow and clogged with sticky mucus in response to certain triggers.
•allergies – such as to pollen, dust mites, animal fur or feathers
•medicines – particularly anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin
•emotions, including stress, or laughter
•weather – such as sudden changes in temperature, cold air, wind, thunderstorms, heat and humidity
•mould or damp
Genetics, pollution and modern hygiene standards have been suggested as causes, but there's not currently enough evidence to know if any of these do cause asthma.
•infections like colds and flu
•smoke, fumes and pollution
Who's at risk?
A number of things can increase the chances of getting asthma. These include:-
•having an allergy-related condition, such as eczema, a food allergy or hay fever – these are known as atopic conditions
•having a family history of asthma or atopic conditions
•having had bronchiolitis – a common childhood lung infection
•exposure to tobacco smoke as a child
•your mother smoking during pregnancy
•being born prematurely (before 37 weeks) or with a low birth weight
In some cases, asthma is associated with substances you may be exposed to at work. This is known as
Paint sprayers, bakers, pastry makers, nurses, chemical workers, animal handlers, timber workers, welders and food processing workers are all examples of people who may have a higher risk of being exposed to these substances.
•Isocyanates (chemicals often found in spray paint)
•flour and grain dust
•colophony (a substance often found in solder fumes)
Tests for asthma
•FeNO test – you breathe into a machine that measures the level of nitric oxide in your breath, which is a sign of inflammation in your lungs
•spirometry – you blow into a machine that measures how fast you can breathe out and how much air you can hold in your lungs
•peak flow test – you blow into a handheld device that measures how fast you can breathe out, and this may be done several times over a few weeks to see if it changes over time
most common symptoms of asthma are:
•wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing)
•a tight chest – it may feel like a band is tightening around it
Many things can cause these symptoms, but they're more likely to be asthma if they:
•happen often and keep coming back
•are worse at night and early in the morning
•seem to happen in response to an asthma trigger like exercise or an allergy (such as to pollen or animal fur)
Signs of a severe asthma attack
•wheezing, coughing and chest tightness becoming severe and constant
•being too breathless to eat, speak or sleep
•a fast heartbeat
•drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion or dizziness
•blue lips or fingers
No cure for asthma, but treatment can help control the symptom.
•a fungal infection of the mouth or throat (oral thrush)
•a hoarse voice