Overview

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that causes difficulty breathing and can cause death. In susceptible individuals, this inflammation causes recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing, particularly at night or in the early morning. These episodes are usually associated with widespread but variable airflow obstruction that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Asthma?

The common symptoms associated with asthma include:

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath

Wheezing

Wheezing

 Chest tightness or constriction

Chest tightness or constriction

Persistent cough

Persistent cough

Flattened diaphragm and hyper-inflated chest

Flattened diaphragm and hyper-inflated chest

Fatigue

Fatigue

Difficulty talking

Difficulty talking

Causes

What are the causes of Asthma?

People with asthma have airways that are more sensitive to some things that may not impact people without asthma. The most common triggers in asthma include:

Allergens such as pollen or mould spores

Allergens such as pollen or mould spores

Cigarette smoke

Cigarette smoke

Dust and dust mites

Dust and dust mites

Fumes and strong odours

Fumes and strong odours

Respiratory infections

Respiratory infections

Some medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Some medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Exercise and physical activity

Exercise and physical activity

Pets

Pets

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Asthma?

A comprehensive assessment is needed to differentiate between asthma versus an alternate disease or condition such as emphysema or early congestive heart failure. To make a thorough your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history and perform a physical exam involving a spirometer to measure lung and airway function, and a peak flow metre to measure the maximum speed of air from forced expiration.

Your practitioner might recommend the following to support treatment:

Allergy panel IgA, IgG, IgE for Foods & Inhalants

Allergy panel IgA, IgG, IgE for Foods & Inhalants

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who are specialised in treating Asthma.