MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asthma inhaler. Eleven year old girl using an aerosol inhaler for asthma beside an outdoor swimming pool. Asthma involves the narrowing of tiny airways in the lungs called bronchioles, which become inflamed and produce excess phlegm. Inhalers contain bronchodilator drugs to widen the airways and often also include steroid drugs to reduce inflammation. Symptoms include wheezing, dry coughing and breathlessness. In a severe attack, breathing becomes extremely difficult, causing rapid heartbeat, sweating and anxiety. Attacks may be due to infections, exercise or allergies. Asthma usually starts in childhood and tends to improve in early adulthood.
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