Learn about asthma symptoms and triggers, and types of asthma medication and devices.
Asthma is a common lung condition caused by hypersensitive airways reacting to stimuli, which results in a narrowing of air passages and excessive production of mucus and phlegm.
Asthma symptoms include loud, hacking cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. These can be better controlled if asthma triggers are avoided.
Asthma triggers include dust mites, air pollutants, viral infections, change in ambient temperature, certain foods and drug allergies.
In Singapore, Asthma affects approximately 1 in 5 children and 1 in 20 adults.
One way to keep your asthma under control is to identify your asthma triggers and avoid them as much as possible. A personal written asthma action plan (provided by your doctor), an Asthma Control Test (ACT) questionaire and a peak flow meter are tools you can use to better understand and control your asthma.
Asthma treatment includes reliever medication (to open up hypersensitive airways for a limited period of time), controller medication (to control the airways during asthma attacks) and combination medication (which combines reliever and controller medicine).
Other asthma medication is available for more severe cases of asthma. Patients who experienced serious asthma attacks are likely to be provided with a short course of oral steroid tablets for use during an emergency.
For asthma inhalers, these can usually be classified as metered dose inhalers, turbuhalers and accuhalers. If you are not familiar with the techniques used for each respective inhaler, please check with your asthma doctor or nurses.