What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in the lungs.

 

We all need air to breathe and the lungs are the transport system that delivers air. Lungs are like giant natural sponges with connecting tubes throughout. The tubes known as airways are different sizes, starting off quite large and ending very small (the size of uncooked spaghetti). The airways of a person who has asthma are oversensitive to certain substances known as "triggers".

 

The muscle surrounding walls of the airways become tight and the airway narrows. The airways then become inflamed, and start to swell. There is often sticky mucus or phlegm produced. All these events make moving air in and out of your lungs difficult.

What does cause asthma?

The cause of asthma is still unknown though scientists are beginning to understand what contributes to the development of asthma.

Asthma can be inherited many aspects of modern lifestyles - such as changes in housing and diet and a more hygienic environment-may have contributed to the rise in asthma smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of a child developing asthma. 
Second-hand smoke increases the chance of developing asthma irritants in the workplace may lead to a person developing asthma. Anyone can develop asthma at any age. As the airways become narrower and irritated so the development of the symptoms occur.

Can asthma be cured?

No, asthma cannot be cured but asthma can be controlled.

Good control involves:

Taking asthma medications as directed

Monitoring your asthma

Staying active and healthy

Where ever possible avoid triggers ‘

Understand and have a written asthma plan

Working in partnership with your practice nurse/GP, and by having a regular check up.

With good management your child can lead an active life.

Remember! You should be controlling your asthma not asthma controlling you!

Is asthma inherited and will my other children get asthma?

Yes, asthma or the tendency to develop asthma is inherited.

Where there is a strong family history of allergy (atopy) such as, asthma, hay fever, eczema there will be a stronger tendency that a child in a family will develop asthma.

 

It is believed that a mixture of genetic and environmental factors determine whether one child goes on to develop asthma and their brothers and sisters do not

Why does my child get an asthma attack on special occasions?

Apart from viral infections, over excitement and laughter are perhaps the two emotions most likely to bring on symptoms in children.

 

Christmas, parties, birthdays and holidays are the most exciting events for children so parents need to be especially vigilant at these times.

What are asthma triggers?

A trigger is anything that irritates the airways and sets off the symptoms of asthma. Common triggers include colds or 'flu, cigarette smoke, exercise and allergies to things like pollen, furry or feathery animals or house-dust mites. Everyone's asthma is different and your child will probably have several triggers.

If you have more questions about the program, please feel free to contact us

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