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Asthma is a condition that affects your ability to breathe properly. If you have asthma, you may experience tightness in your chest, wheezing, feelings of breathlessness, and coughing. There are several things that can trigger an asthma attack, such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, outdoor air pollution, dust mites and exposure to mold.
Asthma is treated using a multiple step approach. The first step is to reduce or eliminate your exposure to the common asthma triggers mentioned above. You will probably have two different types of medication for asthma treatment. Both medications are commonly prescribed in inhaler form. The first is a daily, long term prescription. This medication is typically a corticosteroid. It reduces inflammation in the airways, reducing symptoms of asthma. You will also have a quick acting medication to relieve symptoms of asthma flare-ups. The quick acting medications work by relaxing the muscles around the airways. For best results, take the quick acting medication as soon as you feel symptoms.
Asthma is considered controlled when you don't have symptoms of asthma more than twice a week, and don't require your relief inhaler more than twice a week, you aren't woken up by asthma symptoms more than twice a month, and you don't have more than one asthma attack a year that requires oral (rather than inhaled) corticosteriods.