DPH: What is Asthma
Asthma

What is Asthma? 

Asthma is a serious chronic lung disease. People with asthma have swollen or inflamed airways which make them sensitive to certain things, called asthma triggers, in their environment such as smoke, dust, and pollen. When the person breathes in a trigger, the airways make more mucus that cause the airways to become more narrow. The muscles around the airways can tighten causing the airways to become even more narrow. The flow of air is reduced making it hard for the person to breathe. 
 
{Why asthma makes it hard to breathe}
 *Picture courtesy of American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
 

Coughing

Wheezing

Whistling sound when breathing

Tightening of Chest


Common Asthma Triggers

Dust mites

Tobacco Smoke

Pet Dander

Chemicals

Pest


              
Asthma can be controlled and most people with asthma can live full, active lives. Asthma that is not controlled can cause missed days from school and work, ER visits, hospital stays, or even death. In order to effectively manage your asthma you should have a clear understanding of your triggers, avoid those triggers, have an asthma action plan (AAP), and use your asthma medications as your medical provider tells you to. Below there are links to helpful fact sheets and resources about asthma medications.
  {child with inhaler}
Types of Asthma Medications: This document shows what different asthma inhalers look like and what they are used for

What Asthma Medications Do: This fact sheet describes what different asthma medications do and the possible side effects
 
How to use your asthma medication:
    1. Using a metered dose inhaler with a spacer
    2. Using a metered dose inhaler one to two inches from mouth
    3. Using a metered dose inhaler (inhaler in mouth)
  • You may also visit the site How To Use Inhalers. There are short videos, available in multiple languages, on how to use many different types of medications.
If you would like to learn more about asthma, here are other resources:





 
 
        
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**Please note that the information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consulting with your medical provider.**
                                 

                                                 

 




Content Last Modified on 1/20/2015 12:17:12 PM