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Asthma symptoms include a cough, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness.

Asthma symptoms include a cough, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness.
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Asthma

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Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition caused by hypersensitivity (over-reacting to things) and inflammation (swelling and redness) of the airways.

Symptoms include a cough, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness, and can vary in severity from person to person.

When asthma symptoms get significantly worse, it is known as an 'asthma attack'.

Call triple zero (000) to seek immediate help if you or someone else has severe symptoms of asthma.

Your doctor can normally diagnose asthma by asking you questions and doing tests. They will want to know when and how often symptoms happen, and if you have noticed anything that might trigger them.

A trigger is anything that irritates the airways and brings on the symptoms of asthma. These differ from person to person, and people with asthma may have several triggers. Common triggers include house dust mites, animal fur, pollen, tobacco smoke, exercise, cold air and chest infections.

Your doctor will also want to know if you have been taking any medicines, what your occupation is, whether you smoke or are exposed to passive smoking, as well as details about your work and home environment.

Visit Asthma Australia website or the National Asthma Council website for more information on asthma, or call Asthma Assist on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).

Are you caring for someone with asthma?

Carers are everyday people who provide unpaid and ongoing care and support to someone they know who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.

Support for carers

Find practical information and useful resources for carers on Carer Gateway. You can also learn more about carers' support and services in your state or territory through Carers Australia.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: June 2018


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