Asthma is a condition that affects the airways. The airways become over-sensitive, which means that they react to things that normally do not cause a problem, such as cold air or dust.
This sensitivity causes muscles around the wall of the airway to tighten up, narrowing the airways making it difficult for air to flow in and out. The lining of the airways also becomes swollen (like your nose during a cold) produce sticky mucus clogging up the breathing passages.
Anyone can develop asthma. It is particularly common in Ireland, where over 470,000 adults and children have the condition (Asthma Society of Ireland). It can start at any time of life, although it most often begins in childhood.
The Asthma Society of Ireland (ASI) is a great resource for people suffering from asthma in Ireland. It’s very important to . whether you have had asthma for many years or just been diagnosed that you have an asthma action plan in place to help manage your condition.
People are often surprised to find out they’ve developed asthma late in life however it’s not unusual. Such occurrence is known as late or adult onset asthma.
Sometimes asthma is harder to diagnose in older people because the symptoms such as being short of breath may be indicative of other conditions or people don’t ask for help as they believe the symptoms are just part of getting older.
Asthma cannot be cured and affects around one in five children in Ireland. Asthma can be well controlled. Children whose asthma is well controlled can lead happy, healthy lives. Poorly controlled asthma can have a negative impact on a child’s health and inhibit their ability to play and learn.