Asthma is a long-term, inflammatory disorder which affecting the airways. Allergic asthma is the most common type and is triggered by antibodies produced in response to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or moulds.
There are currently more than 5.4 million people in the UK being treated for asthma and about 1.1 million of them are children. There were 1,131 deaths from asthma in the UK in 2009 (12 were children aged 14 years or under), which is, on average, 3 people per day.
The health watchdog wants to change the way people with asthma are cared for and improve the quality of care patients receive. Among the 11 points set out by NICE are:
- People with asthma receive a structured review at least annually
- People aged 5 years or older with a severe or life-threatening acute asthma are given oral or intravenous steroids within 1 hour of seeing a doctor
- People with severe, or 'difficult' asthma are offered an assessment by a multidisciplinary difficult asthma service
The new guidelines apply only in England.
An IVF birth more than doubles the likelihood of a child developing asthma, research has shown.
In the most extreme cases the risk is increased almost five times, according to new study findings.
Children conceived with artificial help are also more likely to wheeze or take anti-asthmatic medicines by the age of five.
Scientists discovered the link after analysing data on 18,818 children from across the UK born between 2000 and 2002.
But they point out that the association may not be causal, and the chances of a child conceived after IVF treatment becoming asthmatic are still slim.
Doctors have reportedly discovered a child's risk of developing an allergic disease is doubled if a parent of the same sex has suffered from it. Daybreak's Cordelia Kretzschmar reports.
Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term, or chronic, condition.
Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children, but can continue into adulthood.
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways - the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.
When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell.
Sometimes, sticky mucus or phlegm builds up, which can further narrow the airways.
These reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated - making it difficult to breath and leading to symptoms of asthma.