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.
Scientists find hints to a 'ghost' species of archaic humans in saliva

Scientists find hints to a 'ghost' species of archaic humans in saliva

Experts explore effective ways to diagnose and treat asthma

Experts explore effective ways to diagnose and treat asthma

Has California hit the brakes in regulating breath-robbing big rigs?

Has California hit the brakes in regulating breath-robbing big rigs?

Analysis: Senate’s latest health blueprint cuts costs at the expense of chronically ill

Analysis: Senate’s latest health blueprint cuts costs at the expense of chronically ill

Injury, dust exposure among 9/11 survivors linked to risk of later heart and respiratory diseases

Injury, dust exposure among 9/11 survivors linked to risk of later heart and respiratory diseases

Whichever way ‘repeal and replace’ blows, pharma is due for windfall

Whichever way ‘repeal and replace’ blows, pharma is due for windfall

Study finds fewer than half the children receive epinephrine prior to arriving at ED

Study finds fewer than half the children receive epinephrine prior to arriving at ED

New program gives free legal help to families for health-related issues

New program gives free legal help to families for health-related issues

Researchers aim to examine respiratory effects of body weight in preteens

Researchers aim to examine respiratory effects of body weight in preteens

BSACI to publish updated guidance on diagnosis, management of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis

BSACI to publish updated guidance on diagnosis, management of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis

Maternal sugar intake during pregnancy may increase allergy risk in offspring

Maternal sugar intake during pregnancy may increase allergy risk in offspring

Corticosteroids may worsen disease in some patients with severe asthma

Corticosteroids may worsen disease in some patients with severe asthma

Sialic acid found in animals protects farm children from asthma

Sialic acid found in animals protects farm children from asthma

Anti-asthma drug shows blood glucose improvement among some patients with type 2 diabetes

Anti-asthma drug shows blood glucose improvement among some patients with type 2 diabetes

Discovery could impact understanding, treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

Discovery could impact understanding, treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

Ondek raises capital to develop new treatment for childhood allergy

Ondek raises capital to develop new treatment for childhood allergy

Food allergies linked to higher prevalence of childhood anxiety

Food allergies linked to higher prevalence of childhood anxiety

Insect venom shortage stings allergy sufferers this summer

Insect venom shortage stings allergy sufferers this summer

U.S. air pollution may be shortening lifespan finds new study

U.S. air pollution may be shortening lifespan finds new study

Researchers investigate how cystic fibrosis alters structure of mucus in airways

Researchers investigate how cystic fibrosis alters structure of mucus in airways