Medical News Today explores how the diagnosis of asthma has changed over the millenia.

While scriptures from China as far back as 2,600 B.C.E. and ancient Egypt mention symptoms of breathlessness and respiratory distress, asthma did not have its name or unique characteristics until Hippocrates described it over 2,000 years later in Greece.

Hippocrates, a figure people often label as the grandfather of modern medicine, was the first person on record to link asthma symptoms to environmental triggers and specific trades and professions, such as metalwork.

Hippocrates only saw asthma as a symptom, and it was not until around 100 A.C.E. that a Greek physician called Aretaeus of Cappadocia composed a detailed definition of asthma that was similar to the modern understanding of how the disease develops.