Asthma symptoms affect an estimated 26 million Americans and are one of the leading causes of work and school absences. The cost in direct medical care and indirect expenses totals more than $16.1 billion each year. Although the exact cause of asthma remains unknown, many treatment options are available to control and reverse this chronic inflammation of the lungs’ airways.
Although no cure exists for asthma, effective treatments are available. We learn more about asthma every year and newer, more effective drugs are being developed. As a result, most people with asthma live normal, productive lives. Research is continuing, and the outlook is bright. For personalized information about an asthma diagnosis, talk to an allergist.
Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
Because of asthma’s chronic, low-grade inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tube lining, airways can become “twitchy” and narrowed in response to certain triggers. During an asthma attack, the muscles that surround the bronchial tubes contract, further narrowing the air passages.
Do you have wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath at work? If so, you could have occupational asthma.
Exercise Induced Asthma
If your chest feels tight, you have trouble catching your breath or you cough during or after exercise, you might have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.