asthma

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asthma

(ăz`mə, ăs`–), chronic inflammatory respiratory disease characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. A cough producing sticky mucus is symptomatic. The symptoms often appear to be caused by the body's reaction to a trigger such as an allergen (commonly pollen, house dust, animal dander: see allergyallergy,
hypersensitive reaction of the body tissues of certain individuals to certain substances that, in similar amounts and circumstances, are innocuous to other persons. Allergens, or allergy-causing substances, can be airborne substances (e.g.
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), certain drugs, an irritant (such as cigarette smoke or workplace chemicals), exercise, or emotional stress. These triggers can cause the asthmatic's lungslungs,
elastic organs used for breathing in vertebrate animals, excluding most fish, which use gills, and a few amphibian species that respire through the skin. The word is sometimes applied to the respiratory apparatus of lower animals.
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 to release chemicals that create inflammation of the bronchial lining, constriction, and bronchial spasms. If the effect on the bronchi becomes severe enough to impede exhalation, carbon dioxide can build up in the lungs and lead to unconsciousness and death. Following a steady 30-year decline, asthma deaths in the United States, especially among poor, inner-city blacks and among the elderly, began to rise from the late 1970s through the early 1990s. At the same time, the incidence of asthma also increased, both nationally and worldwide.

There is no cure for asthma. Although the disease may go through a period of quiescence, it appears that childhood asthmatics do not outgrow the disease as previously believed. Treatment includes inhaled or oral steroids or bronchodilators (albuterol, theophylline), breathing exercises, and, if possible, the identification and avoidance of triggers.

asthma

[′az·mə]
(medicine)
A pulmonary disease marked by labored breathing, wheezing, and coughing; cause may be emotional stress, chemical irritation, or exposure to an allergen.

asthma

a respiratory disorder, often of allergic origin, characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and a sense of constriction in the chest
References in periodicals archive ?
The use of the treadmill for assessing exercise-induced asthma and the effect of varying the severity and duration of exercise.
adults with six exercise-induced respiratory symptoms were undiagnosed with exercise-induced asthma or bronchospasm.
Portnoy, who directs the allergy and asthma section at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, also advises that children diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma may actually have another condition called vocal cord dysfunction (VCD).
A Exercise-induced asthma affects up to 20 percent of competitive athletes and 90 percent of people with asthma.
Mouth breathing, exercising in cold, dry air, or prolonged, strenuous activities such as running can increase the likelihood of exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
Even people with exercise-induced asthma can stay active if they take precautions when exercising outdoors.
Learn to recognize the symptoms of exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
The tribunal stated, ``We cannot with conscience conclude that the player has satisfied us, on the balance of probabilities, that he administered himself with only eight puffs of Ventolin containing Salbutamol for the purpose of properly treating and/or preventing his asthma and/or exercise-induced asthma.
Together with his co-editor, Wilder, O'Connor has compiled a vast reference source for physicians treating everything from patellofemoral pain to exercise-induced asthma.

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