A condition marked by narrowing of the tubes that lead to lungs which results in acute attacks of breathlessness. It may occur with COPD.
Cause and scope for prevention:
The condition is probably due to a genetic susceptibility which leads to an abnormal response to allergens and chemicals in the air.
The person is asked to blow out as hard and as fast as they can into a peak flow meter to determine their Peak Respiratory Flow Rate, and the test can be repeated after they have inhaled a dose of bronchodilator treatment.
Standard medical therapy:
Prescription of one or two inhalers.
Benefit of exercise therapy:
Asthma UK, the lead asthma charity, points out that although exercise may trigger an asthma response the benefits outweigh the risks and they give clear advice and encouragement even for people with severe asthma.
The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine Guidelines on the balance of risks and benefits of activity for people with Shortness of Breath state that:
It is normal for all people to feel more breathless than usual when increasing their activity level. The balance of evidence suggests that the increased risk of adverse events in breathless people when doing physical activity is very low. People should be counselled individually to gradually increase physical activity, taking into account their severity of symptoms and fear of breathlessness.