Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways leading to recurrent breathlessness, tightness of the chest, coughing (especially at night), and wheezing. The disease is often mistaken for a cold that is taking unusually long to resolve. The symptoms are precipitated by different factors including exercise, exposure to allergens, cold, and pollutants, leading to asthma attacks.
Since asthma is a chronic condition, it requires an appropriate treatment designed to obtain and maintain complete control over the condition. Patients must actively try to manage their illness by being aware of the triggers that affect them, the key symptoms, and their medication. Asthma patients are typically given two kinds of medication – quick relief drugs (usually inhalers) to alleviate symptoms and long-term control medicines for preventing attacks. Avoidance of triggers is crucial for controlling asthma symptoms. Moreover, cessation of smoking is also important as cigarette smoke not only worsens the symptoms but also induces resistance to corticosteroids.