|What is asthma?|
People with asthma have sensitive airways in
their lungs. When the airways are exposed
to certain triggers, the airways narrow, and
cause breathing difficulty. The airways narrow
because the muscles around the airways tighten,
the inside lining of the airways swell and extra
mucous is produced.
The narrowing of the airways can cause
a range of symptoms, including coughing,
wheezing and/or shortness of breath.
The cause of asthma is not known and it can
begin at any age and change over time.
Asthma in Australia
More than two million people in Australia
have asthma. Up to one in four children,
one in seven adolescents and one in ten
adults will experience asthma symptoms at
some time in their lives. The prevalence of
asthma in Australia has doubled in the past
fifteen years. Asthma is one of the leading
causes of absenteeism from school and
work, childhood admission to hospital, and
is among the ten most common reasons for
seeing a general practitioner.
Despite these alarming statistics, most
people with asthma are able to lead a normal,
active life. That