Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in the lungs. The main function of airways is to allow air to come in and move out of the lungs. Asthma causes inflammation of the airways. This may result in sensitive inner walls of the airways to react strongly when something triggers.
Asthma is associated with an increased production of mucus. People with asthma experience the symptoms when the airways swell, tighten or fill with the sticky secretions. Mild symptoms of asthma last a few minutes while severe symptoms last for hours or days. Mild symptoms may be annoying for a patient while the severe symptoms can cause major problems.
An asthma attack happens when the symptoms of asthma worsen due to tightening of the muscles around the airways. The lining of the airways inflames, become swollen, and start producing thicker mucus causing the airways to shrink. Lesser amount of air gets in and out of the lungs and the thick mucus clogs the airways even further.
The exact cause of asthma is not yet clear but it occurs due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. More people are developing asthma these days. It is mainly because of the lifestyle choices such as about housing, diet and environment. Many factors can trigger the symptoms of asthma.
The patient along with doctor develops a personalized action plan. The plan describes the daily routine of the patient about asthma management and treatment, such as involving names of the medicines, dose and timing of the medicines etc. The plan also explains when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.