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Asthma is a common inflammatory disease affecting the airways that leads to shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Symptoms range from mild to severe but are generally manageable with appropriate treatment.

When asthmatics come into contact with something that irritates their lungs, three main changes occur that prevent air from moving easily through the airways. The bands of muscle surrounding the airways tighten and narrow the airway (bronchospasm), the lining of the airways inflame, and the cells that line the airways produce more mucus. This bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production lead to wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing.

An asthma “attack” refers to when the onset of symptoms is severe. In rare cases, an asthma attack can be life threatening and hospitalization may be required to provide emergency treatment.
The exact cause of asthma is not yet clear, but examples of factors that are known to trigger the condition include allergens such as house dust mites or pollen, cigarette smoke, exercise, chest infections, and exposure to cold air.

Asthma cannot be cured but it can be controlled. One of the most important parts of asthma control is identifying asthma triggers so they can be avoided wherever possible. Medications that may be used include anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and mucus production and bronchodilators to relax the muscles that tighten and narrow the airways.
New moms increasingly using expressed breast milk, UBC study reveals

New moms increasingly using expressed breast milk, UBC study reveals

New moms are increasingly using expressed breast milk (either pumped or expressed by hand) instead of directly breastfeeding their babies, according to a UBC study. [More]
Sedentary lifestyle may increase risk of environmentally induced lung disease

Sedentary lifestyle may increase risk of environmentally induced lung disease

An inactive lifestyle may increase the risk of environmentally induced asthma symptoms. [More]
New study urges caution in use of mannitol challenge test for asthma

New study urges caution in use of mannitol challenge test for asthma

A new study urges caution in the use of the mannitol challenge test for asthma in non-clinical settings. [More]
Bedfont Scientific teams up with GPs to implement FeNO testing to improve asthma care

Bedfont Scientific teams up with GPs to implement FeNO testing to improve asthma care

Figures released from the 2014 National Records of Scotland show that 122 people died from an asthma attack the previous year. [More]
Cornell researchers develop chemical probe activated by UV light to control inflammation

Cornell researchers develop chemical probe activated by UV light to control inflammation

Black light does more than make posters glow. Cornell researchers have developed a chemical tool to control inflammation that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) light. [More]
Reseachers identify cellular ‘off’ switch for inflammatory immune response in asthma attacks

Reseachers identify cellular ‘off’ switch for inflammatory immune response in asthma attacks

Working with human immune cells in the laboratory, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified a critical cellular "off" switch for the inflammatory immune response that contributes to lung-constricting asthma attacks. [More]
IUPUI scientists develop new synthetic method to shorten drug discovery and development process

IUPUI scientists develop new synthetic method to shorten drug discovery and development process

Synthesizing useful new compounds is what pharmaceutical discovery and development is all about. Researchers at the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have devised a method to substantially speed up the process. [More]
Iron deficiency: an interview with Dr Thierry Teil

Iron deficiency: an interview with Dr Thierry Teil

Iron deficiency is, in fact, one of the most common nutritional disorders. It affects between three and five billion people, which is between half and two-thirds of the world population (about seven billion). Iron deficiency anemia is a subset of iron deficiency, that is about two billion people according to the WHO... [More]
Study reveals why air pollutants cause some people to be at risk for atopic dermatitis

Study reveals why air pollutants cause some people to be at risk for atopic dermatitis

Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization are pleased to announce the published results of a study into why air pollutants cause some people to be more susceptible to atopic dermatitis, a kind of skin inflammation. [More]
Leading nonprofit patient education organization offers allergy-related restaurant safety tips

Leading nonprofit patient education organization offers allergy-related restaurant safety tips

Eating out is an American pastime - but for the millions of Americans with food or latex allergies, navigating the maze of restaurant and menu options can prove challenging, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. [More]
Experts characterize racial and ethnic differences in food allergies among U.S. children

Experts characterize racial and ethnic differences in food allergies among U.S. children

Allergy and immunology experts at Rush University Medical Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago have conducted the first study designed to assess and characterize the racial and ethnic difference in food allergies among children in the U.S. [More]
Aerobit teams up with Artificial Intelligence experts to drive accelerated growth for asthma drugs

Aerobit teams up with Artificial Intelligence experts to drive accelerated growth for asthma drugs

Pharmas are set to benefit from insightful intelligence on asthma as Aerobit, provider of the Smart Respiratory Device, teams with leading Artificial Intelligence experts to unlock the potential of Big Data. [More]
Adherium’s Smartinhaler reduces asthma-related hospitalizations in children, study reveals

Adherium’s Smartinhaler reduces asthma-related hospitalizations in children, study reveals

Adherium Limited, a global leader in digital health technologies that address sub-optimal medication use in chronic disease, announces the publication of results from an independent, randomised controlled trial of its respiratory disease management tool, Smartinhaler. [More]
Increased prevalence of food allergy linked to early skin infection and eczema

Increased prevalence of food allergy linked to early skin infection and eczema

Early exposure to a food allergen through broken skin might prompt the development of food allergy. [More]
ACAAI offers tips for bringing holiday flair, not allergic flares

ACAAI offers tips for bringing holiday flair, not allergic flares

Holiday decorations are starting to appear, reminding us that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza and Christmas will soon be upon us. [More]
E-cigarette use linked to risk of respiratory symptoms among adolescents

E-cigarette use linked to risk of respiratory symptoms among adolescents

E-cigarette use among teenagers is growing dramatically, and public health experts are concerned that these devices may be a gateway to smoking. [More]
Barriers to internet use for self-care may be preventing women from managing chronic conditions

Barriers to internet use for self-care may be preventing women from managing chronic conditions

Barriers to internet use may be preventing chronically ill middle-aged and older women from being as healthy as they otherwise could be, new research from Oregon State University suggests. [More]
Study: Fungal asthma in UK greatly exceeds prior estimates

Study: Fungal asthma in UK greatly exceeds prior estimates

Experts are warning of a significant increase in the number of people in the UK who are living with invasive and serious fungal diseases that affect the lungs, bloodstream and brain and can sometimes lead to death. [More]
Study finds most colleges do not have integrated systems to support food-allergic students

Study finds most colleges do not have integrated systems to support food-allergic students

A study being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting found most colleges don't have integrated systems in place to support food-allergic students. [More]
Availability of flu vaccines, medications in school can keep children with asthma healthy

Availability of flu vaccines, medications in school can keep children with asthma healthy

Kids need flu shots to prevent asthma flares, and medications available in school to keep 86 percent in class, according to two studies being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting. [More]
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