Asthma is a condition that affects the airways-the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.  With asthma, the airways become over-sensitive and react to things that would normally not cause a problem, such as cold air or dust.  Muscles around the wall of the airway tighten up, making it narrow and difficult for the air to flow in and out.  The lining of the airways gets swollen (just like your nose during a cold) and sticky mucus is produced, clogging up the breathing passages.  With the airways narrowed like this, you can see why it becomes difficult for air to move in and out and why the chest has to work so much.  Tightening of muscle around the airways can happen quickly and is the most common cause of mild asthma.  It can be relieved quickly too, with the right inhaler.

If you suspect you may have asthma contact the DIT Student Health Centre to investigate further.


Asthma Society of Ireland