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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.
Smokers who switch to vaping may have fewer respiratory infections, study reveals

Smokers who switch to vaping may have fewer respiratory infections, study reveals

The majority of smokers who successfully switch to vaping say they have fewer respiratory infections, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London. [More]
Popular pain and fever reliever does not worsen asthma in children, study shows

Popular pain and fever reliever does not worsen asthma in children, study shows

WIn a study of children with mild, persistent asthma, scientists found that acetaminophen was tolerated without the worsening of asthma, when compared with ibuprofen use. [More]
Penicillin allergy testing: an interview with Dr. Eric Macy

Penicillin allergy testing: an interview with Dr. Eric Macy

Penicillin was one of the first antibiotics developed and has saved millions of lives. First used in the early 1940s, penicillin is still one of the most widely used and least toxic family of antibiotics. [More]
Study explains long-term pulmonary outcomes among childhood cancer survivors

Study explains long-term pulmonary outcomes among childhood cancer survivors

A team of researchers from nine leading academic hospitals and research centers have published a paper in the early online edition of the journal Cancer that describes pulmonary outcomes among childhood cancer survivors. [More]
Researchers to investigate on engaging Chicago communities in air pollution monitoring

Researchers to investigate on engaging Chicago communities in air pollution monitoring

Chicago communities with poor air quality can soon be more involved in air pollution monitoring with help from Kansas State University. [More]
Hygiene hypothesis: a misleading misnomer? An interview with Professor Sally Bloomfield

Hygiene hypothesis: a misleading misnomer? An interview with Professor Sally Bloomfield

Professor Strachan first proposed the hygiene hypothesis back in 1989. Reviewing the evidence, he suggested that one of the causes of the recent rapid rise in allergic diseases in children was lack of exposure to childhood infections [More]
Researchers discover olfactory receptors in human muscle cells of bronchi

Researchers discover olfactory receptors in human muscle cells of bronchi

Researchers identified two types of olfactory receptors in human muscle cells of bronchi. If those receptors are activated by binding an odorant, bronchi dilate and contract - a potential approach for asthma therapy. [More]
Clinics with comprehensive care for premature infants alleviate concerns for parents

Clinics with comprehensive care for premature infants alleviate concerns for parents

On January 24, 2013, Iris Vega-Figueroa's life changed completely. That's the day she gave birth to her twin girls, Iris and Geraldine. The twins were monoamniotic-monochorionic, meaning they shared one amniotic sack and one placenta in the womb. These rare pregnancies are considered high risk because of the uneven blood flow that occurs between the infants through the placenta. [More]
New drug could help decrease symptoms of asthma

New drug could help decrease symptoms of asthma

The first new asthma pill for nearly 20 years has the power to significantly reduce the severity of the condition, a study led by the University of Leicester has found. [More]
High medical costs force many Australians to skip healthcare treatment

High medical costs force many Australians to skip healthcare treatment

New research shows one in four chronically ill Australians is skipping healthcare because of high costs. [More]
Disordered airway microbiome at birth may be linked to severe neonatal lung disease

Disordered airway microbiome at birth may be linked to severe neonatal lung disease

In contrast to the general belief that the airways of an infant are sterile until after birth, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers and colleagues have found that the infant airway is already colonized with bacteria or bacterial DNA when a baby is born -- and this is true for infants born as early as 24 weeks gestation. [More]
Study demonstrates significant reduction in severity of exercise-induced asthma following B-GOS consumption

Study demonstrates significant reduction in severity of exercise-induced asthma following B-GOS consumption

Clasado Biosciences Limited, the producers and suppliers of Bimuno(R) (B-GOS), a unique patented trans-galactooligosaccharide complex, today announces the publication of results for the latest clinical study using B-GOS. [More]
Genome-wide study sheds light on evolution of pollen allergens

Genome-wide study sheds light on evolution of pollen allergens

A joint University of Adelaide-Shanghai Jiao Tong University study has provided the first broad picture of the evolution and possible functions in the plant of pollen allergens. [More]
Review provides new insights into diagnosis, treatment for PCOS

Review provides new insights into diagnosis, treatment for PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) afflicts over 14 million women in the United States. The disorder increases the risk of endometrial cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, depression and anxiety, as well as infertility and a variety of reproductive disorders. [More]
Amish farm environment protects children from asthma by shaping immune system

Amish farm environment protects children from asthma by shaping immune system

By probing the differences between two farming communities—the Amish of Indiana and the Hutterites of South Dakota—an interdisciplinary team of researchers found that specific aspects of the Amish environment are associated with changes to immune cells that appear to protect children from developing asthma. [More]
Common pesticides linked to allergic and non-allergic wheeze among farmers

Common pesticides linked to allergic and non-allergic wheeze among farmers

New research from North Carolina State University connects several pesticides commonly used by farmers with both allergic and non-allergic wheeze, which can be a sensitive marker for early airway problems. [More]
Child's home address may help identify children and families at risk of asthma

Child's home address may help identify children and families at risk of asthma

A child's home address may be enough information to identify children and families at risk for more severe cases of asthma due to social and economic hardships. In fact, the home address could guide risk assessment starting the moment a family arrives and registers in the hospital or at the doctor's office. [More]
Study finds how differences in vegetation in urban areas influence airborne microbial communities

Study finds how differences in vegetation in urban areas influence airborne microbial communities

New research finds that airborne bacterial communities differ from one urban park to the next but those of parking lots are alike -- and differ from those of parks in subtle but potentially important ways. [More]
ACAAI offers tips to help prevent kids from suffering through allergy and asthma attacks

ACAAI offers tips to help prevent kids from suffering through allergy and asthma attacks

You work hard to keep your child's allergies and asthma under control. You clean to get rid of dust mites and pet dander, and you make sure your kids are taking the right medications at the right time. Then you send them off to school and your routine can fall apart, leaving your child with symptoms that aren't controlled. [More]
Excessive alcohol consumption linked to lower levels of nitric oxide in exhaled breath

Excessive alcohol consumption linked to lower levels of nitric oxide in exhaled breath

A study led by researchers from Loyola Medicine and Loyola University Chicago has discovered a potential new health concern related to excessive alcohol consumption. [More]
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