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.
Our results indicate that a high percentage of asthmatics who had daily shortness of breath, more than 2 hospitalizations due to asthma in the last year, and nocturnal asthma symptoms more than 3 times a week were exposed to high levels of proteases.
Nocturnal asthma is characterized by chest tightness, shortness of breath, cough and wheezing at night that interrupts the patient's sleep.
Compared with placebo and albuterol, patients treated with FORADIL AEROLIZER 12 mcg demonstrated improvement in many secondary efficacy endpoints, including improved combined and nocturnal asthma symptom scores, fewer nighttime awakenings, fewer nights in which patients used rescue medication, and higher morning and evening peak flow rates.
Nocturnal asthma, in which the slightly longer duration of action may protect against nocturnal deterioration of flow rates
Nine-year-old Laura Macphail suffered a nocturnal asthma attack and died three days after being prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection.
It is clearly advantageous as an additive therapy to another maintenance drug like an inhaled steroid, it clearly has benefit for the prophylaxis of exercise-induced asthma, and because of its very long duration of action, it is a wonderful product for the control of nocturnal asthma," he said.
Nevertheless, our findings are entirely consistent with those of earlier trials,[7-12] confirming that zafirlukast diminishes daytime and nocturnal asthma symptoms and improves pulmonary function.
Figure 14: Circadian alterations in lung function in healthy subjects and patients with nocturnal asthma 63
Diette GB, Markson L, Skinner EA, Nguen TT, Algatt-Bergstrom E Nocturnal asthma in children affects school attendance, school performance and parents' work attendance.
Given the prolonged duration of bronchodilation and the superior nocturnal asthma symptom-control afforded by salmeterol as opposed to other bronchodilators, it has been suggested that twice-dally salmeterol maintenance therapy may allow patients to discontinue use of some of their existing asthma medications, excluding inhaled corticosteroids.