What is asthma?
Asthma is a very common condition - it affects around 5 million people in the UK or 1 in 12 of us. Asthma affects the breathing tubes, which carry air in and out of the lungs. Asthma makes these tubes tighter in 3 ways: -
These 3 things act together to reduce the air flow into your lungs. This has the effect of making your chest feel tight or wheezy and can make you cough and feel breathless. Symptoms can often be worse overnight and the early morning.
Some people with asthma have certain triggers such as pets, housedust or pollen. Other times, asthma may be provoked by non-allergic triggers such as cold air, colds/sore throats, fumes and pollution (including cigarettes).
Asthma can run in families and may co-exist with other allergic diseases such as eczema and hay fever.
Diagnosis of asthma
There is no single test such as a blood test that will confirm or exclude asthma. Usually the diagnosis of asthma is based upon listening closely to your symptoms and history then perform a physical examination. This would be followed by some blowing tests to see how much puff you have in your lungs. There are various ways of doing this: -
Please note that this information is for information purposes only and cannot be construed as medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor if you have any concerns regarding asthma.
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