What is asthma?

What is asthma?

Asthma is a common long term condition that affects both adults and children. If you haven’t got asthma its likely you’ll know someone who does. The Cheapest Life Insurance takes a closer look at what asthma really is…

What is asthma?

Asthma is a long term respiratory condition that can cause coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. The severity of a person’s symptoms varies between each individual. With the right controls asthma can normally be managed by most people.

Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. Your airways are actually made up of small tubes called bronchi which carry the air in and out your lungs when you breathe. For an asthma sufferer their bronchi are inflamed and more sensitive. Coming into contact with something which irritates your lungs such as smoke means your airways can become narrow and tighten. There will also be an increased production of phlegm (sticky mucus) which can lead to difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing or a tightened chest.  These symptoms can often be managed with an inhaler, of which there are different kinds but a serve onset of symptoms can result in an asthma attack or acute asthma exacerbation. An asthma attack can be life threatening and in some cases require hospital treatment.  If you have chronic asthma your airways may be permanently narrowed due to long term inflammation.

Both children and adults can get asthma. Even if you have asthma as a child your symptoms can disappear during teenage years and return during adulthood. Children with asthma will need special support from the adults around them until they become completely independent in managing the condition.


We don’t fully know the cause of asthma is as it isn’t a condition that is just associated with being unhealthy or leading an unhealthy lifestyle although we do know that asthma does run in families and you are more likely to get it if both of your parents have the condition.

Something which irritates your asthma and brings on asthmatic symptoms is called a trigger. Different people may have different triggers and some people are more sensitive than others.  Common triggers which can have an effect on your asthma include animal fur, pollen, tobacco smoke, exercise, cold air, chest infections and dust mites.  Some people can also develop occupational asthma which can be triggered by the environment they work in such as being in the medical profession and being exposed to latex.

Managing Your Asthma

Part of managing your asthma links to the care and attention you give yourself. The focus you put on your health and the choices you make that reflect what you need from your diet, exercise routine and the situations you avoid and put yourself in.

People with asthma also need to take the medication prescribed to them keep feeling well. Taking your preventative medication each day will help to keep your asthma under control and can reduce your chances of having an asthma attack.

Your doctor’s surgery or healthcare team will want to regularly keep in contact with you so they can monitor your health and condition. Keeping them up to date will mean you’ll get the best care for how you are feeling and coping. These are often called asthma reviews. During your reviews you’ll also be able to talk about or book in other things that might keep you well including flu jabs for example.

If you are smoker and you also have asthma you are putting your health at an unnecessary risk.  If you stop smoking you will significantly reduce the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Your asthma medication will be more effective and you’ll avoid a trigger…tobacco smoke.  Smoking puts your lungs in a position to struggle when you already have a medical condition to manage.

If you are an asthma suffer you certainly aren’t alone. Finding out which medication and controls are helpful for you is a critical part of living with a condition that needs attention for you to live and enjoy life like everyone else. Good asthma management really can make a world of difference.

If you have asthma and you are looking for life insurance why not give us a call on 0800 6800 205 or fill in our quick quote form and we’ll give you a call back to you!








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