Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs. If you have asthma, your airways are inflamed most of the time.
The most common symptom is wheezing. This is a scratchy or whistling sound when you breathe. Other symptoms include:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest tightness or pain
• Chronic coughing
• Trouble sleeping due to coughing or wheezing
For many asthma sufferers, the timing of these symptoms is closely correlated to physical activity. Also, some otherwise-healthy people can develop asthma symptoms only while exercising. This is called exercise-induced asthma.
Staying active is crucial to staying healthy, so asthma shouldn’t keep you on the sidelines. An allergist can develop a management plan to keep your symptoms under control before, during, and after physical activity.
People with a family history of allergies or asthma are more prone to developing asthma. Many people with asthma also have allergies. This is called allergic or extrinsic asthma.