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.

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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

asthma

a respiratory disorder, often of allergic origin, characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and a sense of constriction in the chest
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Occupational asthma and allergy associated with the use of enzymes in the detergent industry--a review of the epidemiology, toxicology, and methods of prevention.
Natural history of occupational asthma: relevance of type of agent and other factors in the rate of development of symptoms in affected subjects.
It was recommended that the nutritional interventions in all occupational asthma phenotypes should be an important aspect in future treatments, especially targeting body fat reduction and achievement of daily recommended intake of Vitamin D.
Occupational Asthma: Immunological Asthma: Classification was performed as the complaints initiated after a time period of starting to work for the cases that had no complaint before; complaints exacerbated with work; a1 and a2 properties that were detected during PEF observation.14
i wsp.: Prevalence of possible occupational asthma in hairdressers working in hair salons for women.
Fate of occupational asthma: a follow-up study of patients with occuptional asthma due to Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata).
Occupational asthma and rhinitis caused by cyanoacrylate-based eyelash extension glues.
Allergens causing occupational asthma: An evidence-based evaluation of the literature.
Occupational asthma is triggered by substances in the workplace that narrow down the air passages of the lungs.
(1) Eyelash extensions have also been associated with occupational allergic contact dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and occupational asthma in the practitioner applying the eyelash extensions, particularly with the cyanoacrylate-based glues.
[6] It accounts for 7%-9% of all cases of occupational asthma. [8]
The articles are grouped in sections on pathogenesis, diagnosis, and assessment; treatment and management of adult asthma; management of pediatric asthma; and specific issues and considerations, such as occupational asthma, asthma and obesity, and asthma and COPD.

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