Chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing at night or very early in the morning and a whistling sound while breathing are common symptoms of asthma which is a chronic lung disease that narrows and inflames the airways.
Airways constrict during asthma and are lined with mucus during exposures to smoke, cold or warm air, stress and exertion, pet dander, perfume or strong stimulants. Most common trigger among children for constant coughing is a viral illness like common cold.
Unlike individuals not affected by asthma, brisk walking or exercises and stress can leave them short of breath for a while. Usual symptoms of asthma that can range from mild attacks to life threatening episodes where breathing becomes labored and extremely difficult but can be kept under control with a combination of drugs and exposure to healthy environments.
How serious is asthma
Recent studies have increased public awareness as they revealed a growing incidence of asthma among urban children—nearly one in four—in developed countries. In the United States alone, nearly 22 million people are affected by asthma of which 6 million are children.
Researchers have also tried to unravel the complexities causing asthma and have found a combination of genetic and environmental factors to be responsible. But they are still at odds figuring out the real causes of asthma that would have solved some problems regarding the severity of the disease and a person’s response to medication.
Asthma problems start when the airways or tubes through which air passes in and out of the lungs, become inflamed and irritated resulting in swelling in reaction to substances like smoke, perfume or any other strong stimulant.
Asthma is a disease that can’t be cured even if you feel fine. It can flare up very fast and it is very important to treat the symptoms as soon as you realize an episode is about to begin. But with advance sin medical science, it is possible to lead a normal and active life as well as sleep well through the night without interruption.
Those affected by asthma need to work out a strong partnership with the doctor and clinic on their health care network as prompt attention is required in the event of an episode.