Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease causing breathing problems due to the narrowing of the airways. It has been known since ancient times (“Asthma” is a Greek word meaning ”panting”) and it is estimated that over 30 million people in Europe and 300 million worldwide are affected by asthma. Asthma symptoms include recurrent episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and cough, triggered by different factors.
In allergic asthma - the most common type– symptoms are triggered by exposure to “allergens”, such as pollen, house-dust mite, pets and moulds. Other asthma triggers include viral infections, exercise, gastro-esophageal reflux, some medications (in particular aspirin) and psychological factors.
Occupational asthma is caused by various exposures in the workplace.
Asthma affects both adults and children and can be a serious disease. However, asthmatic patients, if correctly treated, should live a normal life.