Asthma is a disease that impacts the airways within the lungs. Asthma is a chronic condition for which there isn't currently a cure. However, there are many highly effective treatments that allow asthma sufferers to be healthy. Asthma is usually not obvious because it only tends to cause serious symptoms during an asthma attack. During asthma attacks, the sufferer will cough, wheeze, and struggle to breathe. The frequency of asthma attacks can vary widely from one person to the next. Some people have only one attack per week or less, usually during the daytime. At the opposite end of the spectrum, people with severe persistent asthma may have almost daily attacks, both during the day and overnight.
When as asthma attack occurs, the breathing passages become highly inflamed and swell dramatically. This swelling means that breathing can be a major struggle. As the asthma sufferer struggles to get air, he or she will often start wheezing and coughing and may even have chest pain from the exertion. This can sometimes cause feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, and feelings of panic.
There are a number of possible triggers. People with asthma may commonly be triggered by things like heavy exercise, smoke, airborne allergens, or extreme heat and cold.
Asthma treatment is approached on an individualized basis. Controller medications, which are used on a daily basis, are very helpful for many asthma sufferers because they alleviate lung inflammation and reduce the frequency of attacks. Rescue medications, which are often in inhaler form, are used at the beginning of an asthma attack. Patients should make sure to carry their rescue medication with them at all times. Some patients get the most benefit from a combination of asthma treatments.
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