Nicole O’Connor takes a look at Asthma a condition that affects many students in Ireland
Asthma is extremely common in Ireland, with over 470,000 adults and children diagnosed with the condition.
 
The condition that affects the airways. The inside walls of an asthmatic's airways are swollen or inflamed which causes the airways to be over-sensitive, which means that they react to things that would normally not cause a problem. For example cold air or dust.
 
Some symptoms of asthma are; coughing and it is often worse at night or first thing in the morning, this can result in sleep disturbance.
 
Another symptom is wheezing is a whistling or purring like sound that occurs when you are breathing.
 
Shortness of breath or a tight feeling in the chest is another common complaint. Some asthma sufferers say they find it hard to catch their breath.
 
An asthma attack is when your asthma symptoms worsen all of a sudden which is caused by the tightening of muscles around your airways. During the asthma attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen and more mucus which is thicker than usual is produced.
 
Asthma Attack may also bring additional symptoms such as; Coughing that won’t stop, rapid breathing, difficulty speaking, chest pressure or tightness may be experienced, the person may feel anxious or panicky and a pale sweat face are just some of the additional symptoms an asthmatic may experience when having an asthma attack.
 
The best way to avoid an asthma attack is to manage your asthma efficiently and to avoid your triggers where possible. Some of the known asthma triggers are dust, allergies such as hay fever, cold air, sinuses and smoke to name but a few of them. It’s so important to identify your triggers so that you can take the necessary steps to avoid them.
 
It is always a good idea to carry your asthma medication/inhaler with you as a precaution so that if your asthma does start to flare up you have the right to tools to treat it before it gets worse.
 
If you think you may have asthma or want some more information on how to manage the condition you can visit your GP or head over to www.asthma.ie