MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asthma inhaler. Young boy uses an aerosol inhaler to treat an asthma attack during a sports game. 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. Bronchial asthma is of two types: allergic, caused by dust, pollen, hair and air pollutants; and intrinsic asthma with no apparent external cause.
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