Asthma is a disease of the airways which causes difficulty in breathing. It is caused by inflammation of the air passages that make them narrow. Symptoms of narrowing airways include whistling noise with breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. There can be several triggers or factors that can aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Common factors include dust, mites, pollen, smoke, pollution , weather changes, cold & cough and respiratory infections . Asthma can be broadly categorised into two categories – specific and non-specific. Specific asthma is caused by breathing in allergens or irritants while non-specific asthma is caused by exercise, weather or genetic predisposition. The exact cause of asthma is not known but it is seen in families having a history of asthma. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed well with a number of treatment options aimed at relieving the symptoms and preventing the occurrence of severe asthma attacks. Here's what Dr Navneet Sood, Consultant, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Jaypee Hospital, Noida has to say about causes, symptoms, and treatment of asthma.
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is
important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply
to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and
editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.
If you have a serious asthma attack (exacerbation), your doctor may prescribe a short course of oral c orticosteroids. When used orally for less than two weeks, the side effects of corticosteroids are less likely, but when used for many months, they can have a serious and permanent effect. After the severe symptoms of your asthma attack have been successfully treated and controlled, your doctor will work with you to minimize your need for prednisone in the future. Faithfully taking an inhaled corticosteroid every day is the most commonly successful method to do this.