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 ?
Treatment of exercise-induced asthma, respiratory and allergic disorders in sports and the relationship to doping: Part II of the report from the Joint Task Force of European Respiratory Society (ERS) and European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) in cooperation with GA2LEN.
The researchers found a modest correlation between exercise-related respiratory symptoms and a diagnosis of either exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm.
Exercise-induced asthma is triggered by physical activity, while allergic asthma is brought on by exposure to various allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites, or pet dander.
Ad Hoc Committee of Sports Medicine Committee, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Work Group Report: exercise-induced asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol.
Two separate Phase II proof-of-concept clinical trials of senicapoc as a treatment for asthma are currently ongoing, one focused on allergic asthma and the second focused on exercise-induced asthma.
In children leukotriene antagonists may be used as monotherapy in those with milder symptoms and are especially effective in exercise-induced asthma. Add-on therapy with anti-IgE monoclonal antibody is reserved for those with elevated IgE levels who have severe uncontrolled asthma, and inhaled steroids are now preferred to the older treatments (e.g.
Exercise can trigger an asthma attack; treatment before exercising can prevent exercise-induced asthma.
Australian Emma Snowsill, one of the favourites for the women's triathlon gold medal in Beijing, was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma last November.
"Rigorous exercise combined with pollutants can stimulate an asthma attack." Exercise-induced asthma could affect an estimated one in every six Olympic athletes.
Exercise-induced asthma is one condition that can present itself in several different ways, for example, and requires pulmonary function testing for a complete diagnosis.
Jaggi, Positive Options for Children with Asthma discusses how to create an allergen-free environment, how to pre-empt attacks or lower their intensity, teaching a child about asthma medication and how to use it safely, enhancing a child's immunity and tolerance to allergens, teaching a child effective "belly breathing" technique, helping a child incorporate physical activity into their lives while successfully coping with exercise-induced asthma, and much more.
The 33-year-old suffers from exercise-induced asthma, and Lough admits she may have to switch the medicine she takes because of the pollution in Beijing.

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