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What is Asthma?
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Asthma Center

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease involving recurrent breathing problems resulting from obstruction, inflammation and hyper-responsiveness of the airways. 

Symptoms vary from person to person. In fact, many people with asthma do not even know they have it.  In certain instances, those experiencing asthma only suffer from a chronic chough that seems to get worse during the night. Other symptoms include tightness, coughing, noisy breathing, or wheezing and may resemble such respiratory problems as emphysema, bronchitis, and lower respiratory infections. 

People with asthma have acute episodes when the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. These problems are caused by an oversensitivity of the lungs and airways.

What Causes Asthma?

Why someone may get asthma also depends on a number of different factors.  For some people, environmental concerns can be a factor, while others suffer from an overreaction to allergies while other cases involving asthma are the direct result of physiological transformations in the body. 

How is Asthma Treated?

A person diagnosed with asthma can be treated by an allergist who would address the environmental factors and the body’s overreaction to these factors. A pulmonologist might also be brought in to examine the challenges facing the airways and can also identify or rule out the presence of another breathing condition that takes on the characteristic of asthma. 

Treatment for asthma typically involves multiple medications that are administered through such commonly used devices as inhalers, oral medications and sprays.  Eliminating allergens in the home has also been effective in controlling the disease.

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