Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs of children and adults.
The patient usually complains of shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing with wheezing.
Goals of treatment are effective symptom control with minimal or no exacerbations, minimal or no nocturnal and daytime symptoms, no limitations on activities, minimal or no need for reliever treatment, and minimal adverse effects of medication.
Defined as a heterogeneous disease characterized by chronic airway inflammation that results in recurrent episodes of wheeze, shortness of breath (SOB), chest tightness and/or cough that vary over time and in intensity, with variable expiratory airflow limitation
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms are usually associated with airflow obstruction; which is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment
These symptoms tend to be >1 type of respiratory symptom, intermittent, variable, worse at night or upon waking, and provoked by triggers, eg exercise, allergens, weather changes, viral infections
Asthma phenotypes (clusters of asthma characteristics) differ in clinical manifestations, pathophysiology and demographic location of the patient
Allergic asthma: Present in childhood, with a positive family history of asthma, and previous history of allergy such as eczema, food allergy, allergic rhinitis, etc
Non-allergic asthma: Also called adult-onset; asthma presenting and diagnosed for the 1st time in adult years
Asthma with fixed airflow limitation: Airway wall remodeling due to chronic airway inflammation causing irreversible airflow obstruction
Asthma with obesity: Prevalence of symptomatic asthma is increased in those suffering from obesity