Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways that carry the air to lungs are inflamed and narrowed. Inflamed airways are very sensitive and they tend to react to things in environment called triggers such as the substances that are inhaled.
Asthma could be allergic or non allergic. Allergic asthma is an auto immune disease. Allergic asthma is a chronic allergic condition of the lungs. In people with allergic asthma, breathing difficulties such as wheezing, chest tightness and coughing can be triggered after inhaling something to which they are allergic, like tree pollen or mold. Changes in temperature, smoke, strong smells and other non-allergens can trigger symptoms as well. Asthma is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and by using pulmonary function tests where a computer measures airway function.
The asthmatic attack varies from person to person. But the main reasons of asthmatic attack are:
Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander or particles of cockroach waste
Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
Strong emotions and stress
Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat
When asthmatic attack occurs a person may suffer from any of the below mentioned symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Chest tightness or pain
Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.