Asthma Overview

The following is a very basic breakdown of asthma, its symptoms and triggers, which may help you in explaining the condition to your patients and their families.

Feel free to use any language you find helpful, and don’t forget to visit the Easy Breathing® section for information about more tools that can be used in your practice.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe because airways are very sensitive. While the disease cannot be cured, it can be controlled, allowing for a normal, active life.

By understanding asthma symptoms and what triggers them, families can spend more time together and less time making stressful visits to the Emergency Room.

Symptoms & Warning Signs

Some people live with asthma for years and show no symptoms, so it is important to be aware of the following warning signs so that you stay ahead of asthma flare-ups:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Faster or noisy breathing

Other asthma warning signs may include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Itchy, scratchy throat
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Tummy aches
  • Watery eyes
  • Feeling restless
  • Fast heart beat
  • Feeling moody
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble walking
  • Trouble talking
  • Chest or neck pulled in/shoulders hunched over
  • Low numbers on peak flow

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma triggers are different for everyone; something that may irritate your asthma may not trigger someone else’s.

Genetics may be partly responsible – if other people in your family have asthma, you are more likely to develop it. Research also suggests that being exposed to things like tobacco smoke, infections and some allergens early in your life may also increase your chances of developing asthma.

You and your family should talk to your doctor to help identify which things affect your asthma and ways to avoid them.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • Pets/animal dander
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Dust/dust mites
  • Certain foods
  • Roaches
  • Common colds
  • Pollen from trees and grass
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Mold/mildew (indoor/outdoor)
  • Strong emotions (crying, laughing hard)
  • Smoke (cigarette, wood burning)
  • Strong smells or scented products
  • Cold air or changes in weather

Click the link to download What is Asthma? (¿Que es el Asma? ) via PDF.

CAPW is here to help you.

For more information, call us any weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 904.202.5132 or send us an email or get updates