Characteristics of asthma

This article was endorsed by Irene Mazzuca - Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rome "La Sapienza"

What is asthma?

Asthma characteristics

child with asthma and inhaler
Many people with asthma take bronchodilator medication to dilate and relax the airways during acute attacks. These medications, often inhaled, favor the opening of the airways and the entry of air

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by difficulty breathing, caused by constipation of the bronchi that are inflamed and irritated.

This causes less space for oxygen to pass, with the consequent feeling of suffocation or shortness of breath.

Asthma causes

Although the exact causes that determine the appearance of the disease are not known, we can mention the following:

  • Heredity: the descendants of people who suffer from this disease are more likely to develop it.
  • Allergies: A history of allergy, particularly rhinitis, is an important risk factor for the development of asthma.
  • Poorly cured respiratory tract diseases can trigger asthma attacks. It is important to carry out an appropriate treatment and as soon as possible.
  • Allergens: These are substances that trigger an allergic reaction by stimulating the secretion of certain substances, among which is histamine, which are responsible for inflammation of the bronchi, etc.

Main allergens that can cause asthma

Some people have asthma from contact with plants in the Compositae family, such as chamomile, daisies, dandelions, or chrysanthemums.

Among the main allergens, we would have the following:

  • Pollen from certain plants, such as pellitory-of-the-wall, (See plants that cause allergies)
  • Certain chemical elements
  • Dust and environmental pollution
  • Contact with mites, which can trigger the disease.
  • Ingestion of toxics, such as tobacco consumption or certain medications, especially those containing salicylin, or those intended to treat high blood pressure.

Asthma symptoms

Among the main symptoms of asthma we have the following:

  • Shortness of breath, feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Coughing attacks
  • Respiratory problems
  • Chest tightness
  • Whistling in the chest
  • Chest weight
  • Night attacks, trouble breathing at night
  • Nocturnal secretions
  • Eczema

If the symptoms seen above appear, a visit to the specialist is required to diagnose the existence or not of the disease. There are different diagnostic tests that need to be done.


Smoking is totally inadvisable: It produces mucus, inflames the bronchi, nicotine is vasoconstrictor, reduces the entry of air, etc. Tobacco is responsible for many asthma attacks in smokers, both active and passive.

It will be very appropriate to avoid those situations or elements that can trigger the disease. Among these we should mention the following.

  • Avoid those places where the existence of environmental factors can trigger the crisis: closed places, small spaces, especially if they have one or dust. Contact with certain pets
  • Stress: stressful situations, means a decrease in the body’s defenses and can favor the appearance of asthmatic attacks.
  • Ambient temperature: A cold environment can provide the same results.
  • Physical exercise: In certain situations, after an exercise, physical an asthmatic attack can appear.
  • Diet: Certain foods rich in preservatives and dyes can promote, even produce, the appearance of the disease. In front of these industrially packaged products and full of artificial substances, a natural diet of a more vegetarian nature is opposed, rich in natural foods, which does not have elements that can produce food allergic reactions and eliminates certain components of the body that favor the appearance of this disease.

More information about asthma

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

16 June, 2020

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.