Asthma in Teens and Adults
Asthma often begins during infancy or childhood, but it can start at any age. It may last throughout your life.
At times, the Reference inflammation Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window from asthma causes a narrowing of your airways and Reference mucus Opens New Window production. This causes asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath.
Asthma attacks and what makes them worse
Your airways narrow when they overreact to certain substances. These are known as asthma Reference triggers. What triggers asthma symptoms varies from person to person.
When asthma symptoms suddenly occur, it is called an Reference asthma attack (also called a flare-up or exacerbation). Asthma attacks can occur rarely or frequently. They may be mild to severe.
Although some asthma attacks occur very suddenly, many become worse gradually over a period of several days. In general, you can take care of symptoms at home by following your Reference asthma action plan. A severe attack may need emergency treatment and Reference in rare cases can be fatal.
Asthma is Reference classified as intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent.
Effect on your long-term health
Asthma can raise your risk for complications from lung infections, such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia.
Even mild asthma may cause changes to the airway system. It may speed up and worsen the natural decrease in lung function that occurs as we age.Reference 3
Some experts believe that asthma may raise your risk for Reference chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Opens New Window.Reference 4
Asthma during pregnancy
Asthma can occur for the first time during pregnancy, or it may change during pregnancy.
When asthma is properly controlled, a woman can have a normal pregnancy with little or no increased risk to herself or the baby. But if the asthma isn't well controlled, there are risks to the pregnant woman and the baby.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology