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 ?
Nucala reduces severe asthma attacks by reducing the levels of blood eosinophils- a type of white blood cell that contributes to the development of asthma.
I can't stress enough how important it is that the one in 11 people with asthma in the UK recognise the early warning signs of an asthma attack and know what to do when their symptoms are getting worse.
John Mathias, added: "It's important to know that if you know you are likely to be exposed to one of your triggers, whether that's dusty decorations or scented candles, you can reduce your risk of having an asthma attack.
Use of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists may help prevent asthma attacks while improving lung function.
He said that asthma attacks occur when the bronchi and bronchioles become inflamed, reducing the space through which air can travel through the lungs and this causes the asthmatic to work harder to move air in and out of the lungs.
Only about 12 children every year died of an asthma attack in England and Wales.
Treatment was also associated with a significant reduction in asthma attack frequency, with less than half the rate of attacks recorded in the treatment group (P < 0.
Clinical respiratory research nurse June Battram said patients need to meet certain criteria and must have had an acute asthma attack in the past 24 hours to take part.
Of those who suffer from the chronic inflammatory disease, over half live in fear of the next asthma attack, a survey found.
2 The Triple A ("Avoid Asthma Attacks") Test asks 13 questions about factors such as prior hospital admissions, allergies, and inhaler use, and explains why this information is useful in assessing the risk for an asthma attack.
Shadid, who won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting twice in 2004 and 2010, died on February 16 from an acute asthma attack while attempting to leave Syria on horseback.
An inquest heard how 21-year-old Tuan Anh Nguyen was found propped up against a wall on Lynton Avenue, in Springwood, after suffering an asthma attack.