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Asthma Information

  • Asthma is a disease of the human respiratory system where the airways narrow, often in response to a "trigger" such as exposure to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. In children, the most common triggers are viral illnesses such as those that cause the common cold. This airway narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing, which respond to bronchodilators. Between episodes, most patients feel fine...
  • The disorder is a chronic (reoccurring) inflammatory condition in which the airways develop increased responsiveness to various stimuli, characterized by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, inflammation, increased mucus production, and intermittent airway obstruction. The symptoms of asthma, which can range from mild to life threatening, can usually be controlled with a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes.

    Public attention in the developed world has recently focused on asthma because of its rapidly increasing prevalence, affecting up to one in four urban children. Susceptibility to asthma can be explained in part by genetic factors, but no clear pattern of inheritance has been found. Asthma is a complex disease that is influenced by multiple genetic, developmental, and environmental factors, which interact to produce the overall condition.

    In some individuals asthma is characterized by chronic respiratory impairment. In others it is an intermittent illness marked by episodic symptoms that may result from a number of triggering events, including upper respiratory infection, airborne allergens, and exercise.

  • Click to expand

View Top Asthma Answers at sharecare.com

Health Blogs

The U.S. Surgeon General is continuing to add to the official list of diseases caused by smoking cigarettes nearly 50 years after the government first issued a report on the link between smoking and deadly disease. This month, Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak added liver cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, ... Read More »
I often hear, “I’ve never had a chest x-ray, do I need one?” Whether it’s during your annual physical or for a visit before your surgery (a preoperative clearance) many ask whether they need a chest x-ray. Unless you are having symptoms that are worrisome for lung findings (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc) you don’t. Save ... Read More »
You were sick with an upper respiratory infection and now you are better, but the cough is still there. Cough is responsible for 30 million doctor visits a year in the U.S. and a cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks will start to get you worried. Headache, sleep disturbance, rib fractures, hoarseness, and concern that “something is wrong” ... Read More »

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Community Advisors
Michael T Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Douglas Severance
Family Medicine

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