Asthma causes a variety of symptoms that can worsen at any time, making breathing difficult. Asthma is a disease that cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Some days you may not have symptoms, but this doesn’t mean your asthma has gone away. Asthma doesn't have to slow you down. There are things you can do to control your asthma.
Asthma may cause the linings of your airways to get swollen, and the muscles around them can get tight. Sometimes the swelling and tightness get much worse. This is called an exacerbation, or asthma attack. An asthma attack can happen with any kind of asthma. Over time, effects of uncontrolled asthma, such as increased inflammation and asthma attacks, may have long-term effects on your breathing leading to permanent damage to the lining of your airways. Asthma attacks can be serious; that’s why it’s important for you to work with your healthcare provider to control your asthma.
Asthma may be different for different people. Your healthcare provider may identify your type of asthma based on:
Your healthcare provider may assign the type of asthma that you have based on the most severe category listed above.
If your asthma affects you twice a week or less, your asthma may be intermittent. You may need a rescue inhaler up to 2 days per week. It’s the mildest kind of asthma, but it’s not risk free, so be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your symptoms, and find out what you can do to help keep them under control.
Unlike intermittent asthma, with persistent asthma you may have symptoms and other limitations more often. Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate, or severe. Sometimes your symptoms may go away on their own. But other times, uncontrolled asthma may get worse. So can the risk of an asthma attack. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms, and any changes you notice. Your healthcare provider can work with you to help control your asthma symptoms and reduce your risk.