Asthma affects the airways of the lungs. As a condition that affects up to 15% of children and 5-10% of the adult population it is a very common problem.
Asthma symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and a tight feeling in the chest. Trigger factors can make these symptoms worse; the trigger factors vary from person to person but may include viral infections such as flu, exercise, pollen, house dust, cat and other animal fur.
The airways become narrow due to the inflammation of the mucous membrane lining them; this causes them be become red and swollen leaving less room for the air to pass in and out.
This causes the patent to feel like they are taking big breaths through a straw, they are never able to get the benefit of the big breath through the narrow straw, therefore breathing becomes an effort in itself.
The inflammation of the airways causes the airways to become more sensitive to changes such as air temperature, dust, smoke speed of the airflow and this can then cause more irritation.
The aim of treatments is to reduce the tension and inflammation around the airways and allow more air to flow into the lungs; this can be accomplished using connective tissue manipulation.