What exactly is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by swelling and inflammation of the airway lining and tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways, resulting in a blockage of airflow through the lungs. This chronic disease affects over 3.8 million Canadians.

Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and increased mucus production are common asthma symptoms. In addition, increased airway inflammation causes the lining of the airways to become irritated and swollen, exacerbating symptoms. 

Who is affected by Asthma? 

Asthma affects people worldwide and of all ages – in Canada, it is the third-most common chronic disease. In Canada, children have Asthma, and hospitalizations caused by Asthma are common.

Age Groups (Years)

Characteristic Weighted Number with Current Asthma1 Percent (SE)
0–4 517,501 2.6 (0.40)
5–11 2,345,706 8.3 (0.64)
5–14 3,725,399 9.1 (0.53)
5-17 (School Age) 4,586,909 8.6 (0.44)
12-14 (Young Teens) 1,379,693 10.8 (0.89)
12-17 2,241,202 8.9 (0.57)
15-17 (Teenagers) 861,510 7.0 (0.66)
15–19 1,529,286 7.4 (0.69)
11-21 (Adolescents) 4,030,723 8.7 (0.51)
20–24 2,092,756 9.9 (0.91)
22-39 (Young Adults) 6,539,182 8.4 (0.39)
25–34 3,574,661 8.0 (0.50)
35–64 9,594,397 7.8 (0.26)
65+ 4,069,278 7.7 (0.35)


Males 10,487,151 6.6 (0.24)
Boys (Age <18 years) 3,122,923 8.4 (0.52)
Men (Age 18+ years) 7,364,229 6.1 (0.25)
Females 4,586,909 8.6 (0.44)
12-14 (Young Teens) 14,643,981 8.9 (0.25)
Girls (Age <18 years) 1,981,487 5.5 (0.41)
15-17 (Teenagers) 861,510 7.0 (0.66)
Women (Age 18+ years) 12,662,493 9.8 (0.28)

Know the warning signs

Identifying the warning signs of an asthma attack can help you summon help quickly if one occurs. Some caution signs to look out for are as follows:

  • Asthma symptoms that have become more regular or interfered with your daily activities
  • Having symptoms that keep you awake at night

Ensuring you get the assistance you need

If your Asthma is severe, you should consider purchasing a medical ID bracelet that will alert first responders to your condition. Furthermore, phone apps can assist you and your doctor in monitoring your symptoms.

What are the types of Asthma?

The symptoms of Asthma can take many forms. The following classes of Asthma have been identified based on their attack patterns:

Intermittent Asthma

In some people, asthma attacks occur between periods of symptom-free living. In most cases, the asthmatic symptoms go away on their own. However, symptom-free intervals are usually quite long. Viral infections of the respiratory tract, such as the common cold, are a common cause of asthma symptoms in such patients. The situation is dire for children between 2 and 5, who may experience 8 to 12 viral colds and coughs a year. Asthma can also occur by strenuous exercise, exposure to cold air, or specific environmental factors.

Seasonal allergic Asthma

Seasonal allergies, such as Asthma, have been observed to respond to the seasonal release of allergens such as pollen. Mould spores are an additional common cause of seasonal Asthma. Therefore, it is critical to understand how your local climate and air allergen levels change from season to season to determine whether you have this type of Asthma and take appropriate precautions to prevent it.

Non-seasonal allergic Asthma

Everyone who has allergies does not necessarily develop Asthma, and not everyone who has Asthma has allergies. Allergies, on the other hand, can aggravate Asthma in some cases. As a result, exposure to cold or dry air, dust, pet hair, or pollen can trigger an asthma attack. Furthermore, there is another type of allergic Asthma. The asthma triggers are not seasonal but may be due to a hyper-reaction of the airway mucosa to generally not allergenic things. Viruses, air pollutants or irritants such as tobacco smoke or paint fumes, strenuous exercise, certain chemicals in food or drugs, and weather changes are examples.

Chronic Asthma

This condition, also known as persistent Asthma, is characterized by daily or recurring symptoms several times per week. The severity of symptoms may vary, but there are no long periods of no signs. Acute exacerbations can occur at any time during the disease’s chronic course.

As a result

Asthma attacks are potentially fatal. An extreme asthma attack can prevent you from getting enough oxygen into your lungs and even cause you to stop breathing. If you are experiencing severe asthma symptoms, you should seek emergency medical attention.

You can develop an Asthma action plan in collaboration with your doctor. You can lessen your chances of having a severe asthma attack by carefully following this plan, monitoring your symptoms and signs, and avoiding your asthma triggers.

Answers to a few queries

  1. How probable will you die due to an asthma attack?

The situation can quickly deteriorate, especially if medical attention is not sought immediately, so a severe asthma attack is considered a medical emergency. In terms of how many people die from Asthma, Data show that approximately three people die from an asthma attack every day.

  1. Do people recover from asthma attacks?

Asthma attacks are potentially fatal. Most asthmatics, however, can manage their condition and avoid serious illness. Seek medical attention.