Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Asthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding triggers that cause an attack. You must also remove the triggers in your environment that can make your asthma worse.
- Asthma is the top reason for missed school days
- An estimated one in 10 middle and high school students (grades 6-12) (10.6%) in Minnesota currently have asthma.
Symptoms may include:
- Wheezing – Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe out.
- Coughing – Coughing from asthma is often worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep. Sometimes coughing can be the only symptom.
- Shortness of breath – Some people feel like they can’t catch their breath or feel breathless, as if they can’t get air out of their lungs.
- Chest tightness or pain – This can feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
Triggers may include:
- Pollutants in the air we breathe, pollen, wood smoke, cold air/weather changes, viral infections, chemicals and scented products, strong emotions, aerobic exercise and many more.
- Dust mites – tiny spiders that are found in almost every home
- Mold – water leaks and humidity, the amount of moisture in the air can allow mold to grow
- Dander, saliva and excrement from furry or feathered pets like cats, dogs and birds
- Pests such as cockroaches and mice