Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory condition of the airway which is classically characterized by:
|Asthma most frequently occurs between |
the ages of 3-5 years
- Airflow limitation which is usually reversible spontaneously or with treatment.
- Airway hyper-responsiveness to a wide range of stimuli which would cause no ill effects in the normal airways of nonasthmatic individuals.
- Inflammation of the bronchi/airway with T lymphocytes, mast cells, eosinophils with associated plasma exudation, oedema, smooth muscle hypertrophy, matrix deposition, mucus plugging and epithelial damage.
|What happens during an asthma attack?|
Typical symptoms of asthma include wheeze (high pitched musical sound), cough, chest tightness and dyspnoea (breathlessness) particularly at night and/or early in the morning.
In chronic asthma, inflammation may be accompanied by irreversible airflow limitation as a result of airway wall remodelling that may involve large and small airways and mucus impaction.