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Asthma


Asthma
The Causes and Risks of Asthma
Diagnosing Asthma
Complications of Asthma
Treatment of Asthma
Prevention of Asthma

Asthma

      Unlike many people believe, asthma is a very serious disease. Over 5,000 Americans die of asthma every year, and over 400,000 Americans are hospitalized due to asthma complications every year.

What is Asthma

      Asthma is chronic condition that results when the primary air passages of the lungs - the bronchial tubes - become inflamed. The bronchial wall's muscles tighten and produce mucus, causing the airways to narrow, leading to minor or severe wheezing to extreme difficulty in breathing. Asthma attacks can be life threatening. Asthma is a treatable disease and most deaths are preventable. Due to recent advances in diagnosis, management and treatment, many people with asthma live healthy, active lives.



Do You Have Asthma

      The symptoms of asthma can be mild or severe. From wheezing occasionally to coughing and wheezing continuously, asthma can have varied effects. Asthma triggers, such as mold, pollen or smoke can lead to severe asthma episodes. A serious asthma attack can result in panic and gasping for air. All asthma attacks begin with warning signs. It is vital for those suffering from asthma to understand the warning signs and how to treat the symptoms that appear just before an attack.

Warning Signs of Asthma

1) Shortness of breath and/or wheezing
2) Chest tightness
3) Chest pain
4) Disturbed sleep due to coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
5) Heightened need to use bronchodilators (medications that open up the airway by relaxing the muscles that surround the airway)
6) Less lung functioning (measured using a peak flow meter that allows a patient to measure their own lung function)

Warning signs for Children with Asthma

1) Whistling or wheezing sounds when the child exhales
2) Coughing or wheezing during the night
3) Shortness of breath
4) Chest tightness
5) Excessive coughing or coughing fits/spasms



The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology provides outstanding resources for those suffering from asthma and it's complications. For parents of asthmatic children, the Allergy & Asthmatic Network Mothers of Asthmatics offers excellent information for both parents and children.




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