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A considerable percentage of the Belgian population suffer from airway diseases:

  • 11 percent of the population suffer from asthma.
  • 6 percent of the population suffer from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Difficulty breathing reduces the quality of life. Fortunately, more innovative and targeted therapies become available every day.

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways where hyper-activity or excessive irritability of the airways leads to its contracting and constricting. Attacks are often due to irritations such as allergens and dust particles that do not cause any reaction in unaffected people. Even inhaling cold air can provoke an asthma attack! You can recognise an attack from:

  • breathlessness
  • wheezing
  • oppression
  • coughing

Fortunately, we can keep asthma under control thanks to chronic medication that prevents heavy attacks. This allows patients to resume their day-to-day activities.

COPD

COPD is a respiratory disease recognised by a generally progressive and incomplete reversible bronchial obstruction. It is caused by an abnormal inflammatory response from the lungs to damaging gas or particles. The disease only occurs in adults. The most common trigger is smoking. Lung emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two forms of COPD, each with their own characteristics. They can occur separately or together.

In COPD patients, there is deterioration of the small airways and damage of the alveoli. As a result, lung function is reduced. Possible symptoms include:

  • chronic coughing
  • sputum
  • breathlessness
  • oppression