ALAIN DEX, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALAIN DEX, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asthma inhaler. Side view of a elderly woman using an aerosol inhaler for the treatment of bronchial asthma. Inhalers contain bronchodilator drugs (which widen airways) and/or steroid drugs (which reduce inflammation). Asthma attacks result in breathlessness, wheezing or a dry cough. In a severe attack, breathing becomes increasingly laboured, causing rapid heartbeat, sweating and anxiety. Asthma attacks are caused by an allergic reaction to particles in the air. Though asthma is mainly a childhood disease, the condition can develop in adult smokers because of the damage done to their lungs.
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