Asthma News and Research

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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.
Marijuana use among pregnant women linked to low birth weight infants

Marijuana use among pregnant women linked to low birth weight infants

Researchers aim to test asthma drug for treating patients with heart disease

Researchers aim to test asthma drug for treating patients with heart disease

Resources and information that can help patients to navigate the tough road of asthma

Resources and information that can help patients to navigate the tough road of asthma

Novel test can rapidly diagnose flu in patients with severe respiratory illnesses

Novel test can rapidly diagnose flu in patients with severe respiratory illnesses

Discrimination linked to greater probability of asthma in African American and Latino children

Discrimination linked to greater probability of asthma in African American and Latino children

Use of inhaled steroids linked to increased pneumonia risk in asthma patients

Use of inhaled steroids linked to increased pneumonia risk in asthma patients

Tips to help prevent allergies during spring season

Tips to help prevent allergies during spring season

UGA researchers explore new ways of predicting thunderstorm asthma outbreaks

UGA researchers explore new ways of predicting thunderstorm asthma outbreaks

Researchers discover molecular compound that targets nucleus of allergen-sensitized cells

Researchers discover molecular compound that targets nucleus of allergen-sensitized cells

Cytokine plays critical role in driving immune cells to promote or suppress inflammatory bowel disease

Cytokine plays critical role in driving immune cells to promote or suppress inflammatory bowel disease

Air pollution may directly affect biology of upper airways to cause chronic sinus problems

Air pollution may directly affect biology of upper airways to cause chronic sinus problems

DNA methods can help identify microbial hot spots in buildings

DNA methods can help identify microbial hot spots in buildings

Lung experts develop new smartphone app for self-management of asthma

Lung experts develop new smartphone app for self-management of asthma

Patients with inducible urticaria can benefit from treatment with asthma drug

Patients with inducible urticaria can benefit from treatment with asthma drug

Pet exposure may lower risks of allergy and obesity in children

Pet exposure may lower risks of allergy and obesity in children

Children's hands may carry significant levels of nicotine, study shows

Children's hands may carry significant levels of nicotine, study shows

Are we sleeping less than we used to?

Are we sleeping less than we used to?

Research projects provide better understanding on opportunities and risks of nanomaterials

Research projects provide better understanding on opportunities and risks of nanomaterials

Novel point-of-care testing strategy can speed up treatment for respiratory illnesses

Novel point-of-care testing strategy can speed up treatment for respiratory illnesses

Five ways to better prepare for planned or elective surgery

Five ways to better prepare for planned or elective surgery