What: World Asthma Day
When: 1 May 2012
Why: Asthma is a chronic condition, that affects the airways of the lungs. In Asthma the airways or bronchioles, which allow the passage of air to and from the lungs, are irritated. This is due to a number of factors or “triggers” which include, pollen , animal fur, dust mites, cold, tobacco smoke, etc
Irritation of the airways causes them to become very sensitive, so they swell and narrow, the bronchiole muscles tighten and there is an increased production of mucous, which further narrows the airways.
Asthma is mainly characterised by a cough, breathlessness, wheezing, and possibly tightness in the chest. All age groups are affected by this condition and symptoms vary from person to person.
Typical treatments include “reliever” inhalers ie. bronchodilators and “preventer” inhalers which reduce the amount of inflammation in the airways.
As there is no cure for asthma, management and preventing asthma attacks is key. Treatments are based on the relief of symptoms and preventing future asthma attacks from developing.
Organisations aim to increase understanding and awareness of the condition.