What is Asthma?

What is Asthma?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Asthma is a chronic disease that is characterized by both inflammation and a heightened sensitivity of the airways to certain triggers. It affects both children and adults. In asthma, the inflammation of the airways causes them to swell and fill with mucous. In turn, the airways become more sensitive and the muscles around the airways tighten. This restricts airflow into the lungs and creates the symptoms of asthma. Asthma symptoms can include: coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Common Triggers of Asthma

  • Allergens-pollen, dust, mold, animal dander, foods
  • Irritants in the air, especially tobacco smoke
  • Viral respiratory infections and sinusitis
  • Emotional stress
  • Exercise
  • Weather changes
  • Reflux disease

Diagnosis & Treatment of Asthma

After a detailed medical history and complete physical exam, your physician will assess your lung function and identify your asthma triggers in order to develop an individualized asthma management plan. Treatment plans include: measurements of lung function, elimination of environmental triggers, medication therapy, and patient education.

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