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 ?
Nocturnal asthma (a unique subset of patient with asthma) is of particular interest because patient with this disease show that their caliber of airways decreases and causes peak dyspnea and wheezing between 2 and 6 AM2.
studied 10 people and demonstrated that 6-9 months of CPAP treatment can successfully eliminate nocturnal asthma attacks.
Mononuclear cells of nocturnal asthma subjects, already highly activated, became unable to respond further to the stimulatory effects of melatonin.
Also, 40.5% of asthma patients who had nocturnal asthma more than 3 times a week were exposed to high levels of elastase.
The more well-known asthma phenotypes include allergic asthma, non-allergic asthma, nocturnal asthma and aspirin sensitivity asthma.
Slow-release theophylline has also been shown to be of use in the management of nocturnal asthma, but this has been superceded by use of LABAs.
Nocturnal asthma symptoms that caused awakening were more likely to cause a change in family plans, compared with those symptoms that didn't (38% vs.
So the goal becomes preventing all nocturnal asthma episodes.
Salmeterol is commonly used in pediatric asthma patients to prevent symptoms of nocturnal asthma and prevent exercise-induced asthma.
Nocturnal asthma: effect of salmeterol on quality of life and clinical outcomes.