Ever feel short of breath from little physical activity, despite being in decent shape? Does your child suffer from coughing episodes without any perceivable trigger? You or your loved one may be developing asthma, and should seek asthma testing and consultation for this difficult, but manageable respiratory disease.

For a rudimentary understanding of what asthma is, the classic definition is a chronic inflammatory disease that obstructs airflow due to a variety of triggers and causes. Although prognosis is generally positive, asthma can have debilitating consequences and create serious complications when compounded with other illnesses.

If you do not have asthma, there is a simple exercise to get the feel for what it may be like to struggle with a respiratory disease. Try breathing through a straw for a length of time. The restriction of airflow to your lungs is similar to the constriction of airflow caused by an asthma attack. For the asthmatic, an attack can happen at any time due to one of several common triggers.

While asthma can be genetic, certain environmental factors or irritants can cause asthma attacks. The most common of these triggers are allergies and air quality. Allergic reactions are immune system response to normally harmless substances, usually through the symptoms shortness of breath and inflammation. Environmental factors include presence of allergens, or the quality of air in regards to irritants such as cigarette smoke and pollen. The combination of all of these factors contributes to the prevalence and severity of asthma and asthma attacks.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be asthmatic, scheduling an asthma test should be the immediate first step in treating the disease. With very simple procedures, today's asthma doctors can run tests that will effectively isolate the allergens that can trigger your respiratory problems in under an hour. Treatments are varied and can include anything from steroidal inhalants that halt inflammation, to injections that weak allergic reactions that induce asthma attacks.

Being proactive and seeking a consultation is the first step to health and wellness. As stated before, asthma is not a death sentence; but ignoring asthma can lead to serious health complications. Statistics show that nearly a quarter of emergency room visits are asthma related, and asthma has a hand in over 10,000 deaths every year in the United States. Protect yourself and your family by consulting an asthma doctor about allergy and asthma testing, while it's still manageable.