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 ?
Learning to control heart rate may be helpful with asthma management but more studies are needed to confirm a benefit.
Inhaler medication is supposed to go into the windpipe, if it escapes from the nose, asthma symptoms will not be adequately controlled.
We aim to arm patients, carers and healthcare workers with relevant information about asthma and its management.
The report, which included a survey of more than 10,000 people with asthma, 526 of whom were from Wales, revealed that more than two-thirds (68%) of people with asthma in Wales are not getting basic care.
There were 9 (6.0%) mothers who had awareness of any relation between breast feed and the risk of asthma in children, 15 (10%) mother had awareness of relation between pet animals/birds and the risk of asthma in children, 3 (2%) mothers had awareness of relation between carpets at home and the risk of asthma, 24 (16%) mothers had awareness of relation between cigarette smoke and the risk of asthma in children.
Asthma heterogeneity contributes to the complexity of its management.
The research indicates that those who develop asthma as adults and those who have non-allergic asthma are at the greatest risk of obesity.
The researchers found that 10.9 percent of the participants reported ever having asthma; 7.2 and 4.6 percent reported being diagnosed with asthma and having active asthma, respectively.
Despite SA having an excellent package of medications for asthma care in the Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List for South Africa, [8] the number of asthma deaths remains high, with SA being among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of such deaths.
Of the total, 66(21.3%) had well-controlled asthma, 71(22.9%) partially-controlled and 173(55.8%) uncontrolled.
Asthma attacks happen when symptoms are worse than usual.