What is asthma?

300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. Asthma is a condition that affects your airways that occur due to inflammation, mucous (phlegm) and / or airway narrowing. Currently, asthma affects almost a quarter of all Malaysian children and up to 15% of adults.

Though asthma is incurable, it can be controlled with correct management.

How can asthma impact you?

Asthma differs from one person to another. Some may be made to face inconsistent asthma attacks - where symptoms happen at certain periods of time, while others may experience asthma all the time.

Signs and symptoms of Asthma may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Wheezing when exhaling, a common symptom in children
  • Shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing that may hinder sleeping
  • Respiratory virus that worsen coughing or wheezing

Asthma can affect your breathing in three ways:

  • Inflammation
    During inflammation, the walls of your airways become red and swollen. Chronic swelling can lead to frequent asthma attacks and long-term damage.

    Decreasing and controlling swelling is helpful in managing asthma.
  • Mucus
    Excessive phlegm and stick secretions may block your airway resulting in an asthma attack.
  • Airway narrowing
    Airway narrowing starts as small muscles around the airways tighten. This leads to a drop in the amount of inhaled air which may lead to wheezing.

How is an asthma attack triggered?

Asthma attacks are usually triggered by exposure to allergens. Asthma triggers differ from person to person.

Triggers can include:

  • Airborne allergens (pollen, dust mites, mould spores, pets or particles)
  • Respiratory infections
  • Physical activity
  • Cold weather
  • Air pollutants such as smoke
  • Stress
  • Certain types of medications
  • Certain types of food and beverages

Proper treatment can make a big difference to your quality of life having to live with asthma. Treatment can also prevent short and long-term complications triggered by asthma.

Regency’s Heart & Lung Centre is well equipped with specialists and healthcare professionals to help diagnose and treat your condition.

Have question?
Get in touch with Regency