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 ?
From this, they concluded that even small amounts of melatonin could cause problematic inflammation for people with nocturnal asthma.
Studies have demonstrated that alveolar tissue eosinophils increase in patients with nocturnal asthma, and that they exhibit a decrease in nighttime pulmonary function.
FORADIL AEROLIZER is indicated for long-term, twice-daily (morning and evening) administration in the maintenance treatment of asthma and in the prevention of bronchospasm in adults and children 5 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airways disease, including patients with symptoms of nocturnal asthma.
Often, patients with severe nocturnal asthma have trouble controlling symptoms with their standard asthma therapy, and these pilot data suggest LODOTRA may improve patients' quality of life and the number of times they are awakened by asthma symptoms during the night," said Timothy P.
Rand Sutherland, MD, MPH, from National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver investigated the relationship between melatonin and severity of nocturnal asthma by evaluating 24-hour melatonin levels in a test group consisting of healthy patients, nocturnal asthmatics and non-nocturnal asthmatics.
Children exposed to these levels were more than twice as likely to have nocturnal asthma symptoms consistent with moderate to severe asthma compared to those exposed to lower levels of ETS.
It is indicated for maintenance treatment of asthma and prevention of bronchospasm in patients 12 years and older with reversible obstructive airway disease, including patients with symptoms of nocturnal asthma who require regular treatment with inhaled, short-acting beta-2 agonists.
Waking up in the morning knowing that you really didn't get any sleep last night, and going to work tired with big bags under your eyes can be really hard to deal with," said Jill Olson, a 22-year-old nocturnal asthma sufferer from Madison, Wis.
Serevent is indicated for long-term use in the treatment of asthma and the prevention of bronchospasm in patients 12 years and older with reversible obstructive airway disease, including those with symptoms of nocturnal asthma, who require regular treatment with inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonists.
These patients treated with zileuton have been reported to experience a significant decrease in daily and nocturnal asthma symptoms, a decrease in the use of inhaled beta-agonists, and a decrease in corticosteroid rescue for acute asthmatic exacerbation.
SEREVENT is intended for patients who require regular treatment with inhaled short-acting bronchodilators, including patients with symptoms of nocturnal asthma.
SEREVENT is intended for patients who require chronic treatment with inhaled short-acting bronchodilators, including patients with symptoms of nocturnal asthma.