Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and tightening of your airway. A cure for asthma does not exist, but the disease can be managed by avoiding exposure to things that trigger your asthma, not smoking, and by following your healthcare provider’s treatment recommendations. The cause of asthma is unclear, but could be related to environmental factors or related to genetic (or inherited) causes.
Symptoms of asthma include cough, wheezing, shortness of breath or chest discomfort. Your healthcare provider will ask if anything triggers (or worsens) your symptoms. Some individuals experience symptoms while exercising or related to environmental allergies.
Diagnosing asthma is done by reviewing your medical history, determining if you are exposed to any potential triggers (environment, dust, smoke, etc) and pulmonary function testing (test for lung function).
Treatment for asthma can vary based on your symptoms, known triggers and severity of your condition. Some individuals are able to manage asthma by avoiding triggers and using a “rescue” inhaler when needed, while others need daily inhaled therapies and/or allergy medication. Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the treatment that works best for you.