Asthma is a common disease of the airways – the structures through which air passes when moving from your mouth and nose right down to the smallest structures in your lungs. About one in nine to ten Australians have asthma. It is often associated with other allergic conditions like hay fever and eczema.

Causes of asthma

The triggers for asthma symptoms vary for different people. Some common triggers are:

  • allergy triggers such as house dust mites, pollens, pets and moulds
  • cigarette smoke
  • viral infections – for example, colds and flu
  • cold air or changes in the weather
  • work-related triggers – for example, wood dust, chemicals, metal salts
  • some medication.

Symptoms of asthma

Asthma tends to run in families. Asthma affects everyone differently, and two children from the same family can have different asthma patterns and triggers.

Typical asthma symptoms include:

  • wheezing – a whistling noise when breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • a tight feeling in the chest
  • coughing

These symptoms are often worse at night, in the early morning or during exercise.

Where to get help:

  • National Asthma Council of Australia Tel. 1800 032 495



Source: Better Health Channel,  

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