Simple Science

What Is Asthma?

Asthma InhalerPhoto by NIAID

By itself, asthma is not a disease, but a sign of another disease. When someone has asthma, he is breathing hard because there is an obstacle to the passage of air into the lungs or from them.

An obstacle may be caused by swelling of mucous membranes or narrowing of the tube leading from the trachea to the lungs. During asthma attack shortness of breath occurs, as wheezing, and coughing fits. The attack may occur gradually or abruptly.

The only way to get rid of asthma is to find its cause and to remove it. The causes may be allergies, mental distress or atmospheric conditions. If you get asthma before 30th years of life, usually the causes are allergies. In this case, you may have sensitivity to pollen, dust, animals, on some kind of food or medicine.

There are several types of dust and pollen that cause asthma. Children are particularly prone to asthma due to allergies that can be cause by the eggs, milk, meat products and other foodstuffs.

Doctors have also observed that an asthma attack can be caused by mental distress.

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