Facts about asthma
One in 10 children is affected by this common breathing problem
Asthma is a narrowing of the breathing tubes called bronchii. It’s often caused by allergies, and may be triggered by exercise. But if the asthma kept under control, your child will be able to live a normal life, including participating in sport and all other activities. The most common treatment is an inhaler,usually containing a steroid component as well as something to open the airways.
What causes asthma?
- Swelling of the lining of the bronchii.
- Increased sticky mucous in the airways.
- The swelling and increased secretions are called inflammation.
- Muscles going into spasm when there’s inflammation.
- When the bronchii become too narrow, or are partially obstructed due to inflammation and spasm, the typical symptoms of asthma will develop.
These symptoms are:
·Coughing which often occurs more frequently with activity and at night. This can be dry or wet and is persistent or recurrent.
·Wheezing which is a whistling noise in the chest.
·Tightness of the chest causing difficulty in breathing.
·Shortness of breath, especially after exercise.
Some asthma facts
- Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the world today.
- It affects one in 10 children (10%) and one in 20 adults (5%).
- It occurs for the first time at any age, even in adulthood, although it usually begins before the age of 5.
- A few children affected will "outgrow" asthma during their teenage years although it usually persists if contracted in adulthood.
- It tends to run in families, as do related allergic conditions, such as hay fever and eczema.
- If the asthma is kept under control, those affected will be able to live normal lives enjoying full involvement in sport and all other activities.