Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Symptoms of Asthma

The usual symptoms of asthma are generally present: varying degrees of breathlessness, wheeze (a whistling sound in the chest) and productive cough.

Many things can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Your doctor will help you find out which things may cause your asthma to flare up by coming in contact with them. Triggers may include:

  • Allergens from dust, animal fur, mold, and pollens
  • Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals or dust in the workplace, compounds in household products
  • Medicines such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta blockers
  • Sulfites in foods and drinks
  • Viral upper respiratory infections
  • Physical activity.

Some of the triggers listed above may not affect you, or triggers that do affect you may not be on the list.

Treatment for Asthma

Avoid trigger factors - Find out what sets off your asthma and try to stay away from it.

Stay at your best - If you need medications these should as simple, safe and effective as possible.

Know you action plan - Together with your doctor you can work out a plan so that you can:

  • Recognize when your asthma is getting worse
  • Know how to treat it quickly
  • Know how and where to get the right medical assistance.

Early attention to worsening asthma may prevent a serious attack. Ask your doctor for an Asthma Action Plan.



This page is intended to be educational, but does not take the place of your physician or surgeon’s advice for your specific procedure or treatment. You should always consult with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

Call Michigan Head & Spine Institute at 248-784-3667.


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