Asthma is a common, long-term or chronic lung condition that affects people of all ages. It is caused when a trigger – such as pollen or smoke – causes the airways to become swollen or inflamed, making them narrower. A build-up of mucus or sputum may also occur. The main symptoms are wheezing or breathlessness, a tight chest and coughing.

During an asthma attack the bronchioles (the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs) become inflamed and swollen. Excess mucus is produced and builds up in the airways and the muscles around the chest contract. The airways are constricted, which results in breathing difficulties, wheezing and coughing.

People with asthma usually treat their condition by using an inhaler. Reliever inhalers provide short-term relief from symptoms during an attack. Preventer inhalers are used every day to stop the symptoms from occurring. Some people also take tablets.

Our PrediSpot genetic test can help determine if you are at an increased risk of developing Asthma
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