Asthma 101

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease of the lungs that is the most common cause of missing school in school-aged children. Asthma causes episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Students whos asthma is under control are more often able to participate in the classroom, in PE, and in after school activities. 

What happens during an Asthma Flare Up?

When irritated, three things happen that make breathing harder:

  1. The lung airways become swollen and inflamed
  2. The muscles around the airways tighten
  3. Excess mucus is produced in the airways clogging them further

Symptoms can be prevented by:

  • Avoiding triggers like allergens and respiratory irritants
  • or suppressed with an inhaler

For more about triggers please visit this page: LINK TO TRIGGERS PAGE

Types of Asthma

Allergic asthma: caused by allergens like dust mites, mold, pests, or pollen. This type of asthma affects 60% of people with asthma

Non-allergic asthma: caused by irritants, viral infections and sometimes medications. This type of asthma is the least common and only make up around 30% of cases

Exercise-induced asthma: caused by a change in temperature or humidity in the airways from exercising. This type of asthma is common and affect about 80% of people with asthma