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Asthma is an inflammatory lung condition which is usually reversible and it is characterised by bronchospasm, cough, breathlessness and wheeze.
It is commonly presented in childhood but may develop at any age. The condition may be hereditary or may have developed as a result of occupational or environmental factors.
It is diagnosed following history taking, reversibility testing, peak flow monitoring and allergy testing.
Common triggers to the condition may include exposure to dust, animals and pollens etc.
It is treated with the use of inhaled bronchodilators and steroids and management follows a step-down approach to care illustrated by the NICE guidelines.
The condition may be irreversible in chronically undertreated or poorly compliant patients.
It may present itself either acutely or chronically and in its most severe form can be life threatening.