Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.

It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults.

There’s currently no cure, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it does not have a big impact on your life.

Symptoms of asthma

The main symptoms of asthma are:

  • a whistling sound when breathing (wheezing)
  • breathlessness
  • a tight chest, which may feel like a band is tightening around it
  • coughing

The symptoms can sometimes get temporarily worse. This is known as an asthma attack.

Asthma symptoms. Vector illustration.

When to see a GP

See a GP if you think you or your child may have asthma.

The GP will usually be able to diagnose asthma by asking about symptoms and carrying out some simple tests.

Several conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and correct treatment.

Causes and triggers

Asthma is caused by swelling (inflammation) of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This makes the tubes highly sensitive, so they temporarily narrow.

It may occur randomly or after exposure to a trigger.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • allergies (to house dust mites, animal fur or pollen, for example)
  • smoke, pollution and cold air
  • exercise
  • infections like colds or flu
  • Identifying and avoiding your asthma triggers can help you keep your symptoms under control.
Asthma Attack Guide For Patients

Asthma Annual Reviews

The Arch Medical Practice has an in-depth Asthma annual review programme. This annual review is with our Practice Nurses, Alison or Debbie on or around your date of birth. These reviews usually take 20 minutes. At this annual review the Nurse will:

  • Review Asthma history and/or discuss any current symptoms you may have
  • Review inhaler technique
  • Lung function test (Spirometry)
  • Review and implement an Asthma self-management plan
  • Smoking cessation advice

your-asthma-review-booklet Download

If you have any questions we would always recommend to use the NHS Asthma or Asthma UK websites, links provided below.

The Arch Medical Practice