What is it?
- Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.
- It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also appear for the first time in adults.
- There’s currently no cure for asthma, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it doesn’t have a significant impact on your life.
Some people, particularly children, may eventually grow out of asthma. But for others it’s a lifelong condition.*
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of asthma can range from mild to severe. Most people will only experience occasional symptoms, although a few people will have problems most of the time.
The main symptoms of asthma are:
wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
shortness of breath
a tight chest – which may feel like a band is tightening around it
These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.
- The pollen count is high during certain seasons and this is when you are most prone to asthma attacks. Therefore keep your windows shut during these times. You can also use air conditioning to restrict the entry of pollen. An air conditioner will also help to reduce humidity and will protect you from exposure to dust mites.
- Make sure that you have your air conditioner cleaned regularly and have the filters changed.
- Dust can worsen asthma symptoms especially at night. Use dust-proof covers on your pillows and mattresses. Carpets can collect a great deal of dust and therefore it is advisable to opt for linoleum flooring instead. Also ensure that you wash your curtains regularly to get rid of dust.
- Use a dehumidifier if you live in regions with damp weather
- Protect your nose and mouth with a mask while cleaning or dusting the home
- Cold air can worsen asthma symptom and may even bring on an episode. Therefore it is advisable to cover your face when stepping out.
- Avoid exposure to animals if you are allergic to animal dander. If you have pets, ensure that they are groomed well and bathed regularly.
- Avoid dusty areas.
Things to watch out for
GP should be immediately contacted if the symptoms persist or getting worse.