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.
Symptoms, triggers of food intolerance found to be similar in animals and humans

Symptoms, triggers of food intolerance found to be similar in animals and humans

Bedfont® return to ERS to celebrate 10 years of improving asthma management

Bedfont® return to ERS to celebrate 10 years of improving asthma management

New Global Burden of Disease study estimates vast impact of asthma and COPD

New Global Burden of Disease study estimates vast impact of asthma and COPD

Air pollution particles could make you more susceptible to infection, say scientists

Air pollution particles could make you more susceptible to infection, say scientists

Researchers identify molecule that enables cell appendages to drive bodily fluid flow

Researchers identify molecule that enables cell appendages to drive bodily fluid flow

Study finds link between elemental sulfur use and respiratory problems in farmworkers' children

Study finds link between elemental sulfur use and respiratory problems in farmworkers' children

Climbing cost of decades-old drugs threatens to break Medicaid bank

Climbing cost of decades-old drugs threatens to break Medicaid bank

Study provides new insight into development of immune cells

Study provides new insight into development of immune cells

Asthma, more deadly with age, takes heavy toll on older adults

Asthma, more deadly with age, takes heavy toll on older adults

Researchers compare asthma management, treatment outcomes in two countries

Researchers compare asthma management, treatment outcomes in two countries

Racial disparities in childhood asthma linked to residential segregation

Racial disparities in childhood asthma linked to residential segregation

Study: New Medicine Service could save NHS England £517.6m

Study: New Medicine Service could save NHS England £517.6m

Smell loss linked to worse nutritional status in patients with chronic kidney disease

Smell loss linked to worse nutritional status in patients with chronic kidney disease

New study shows how gut microbes can prevent severe flu infections in mice

New study shows how gut microbes can prevent severe flu infections in mice

MIT engineers devise noninvasive way to assess cell's mechanical properties

MIT engineers devise noninvasive way to assess cell's mechanical properties

Tiny molecule in the immune system could help develop cure for common cold

Tiny molecule in the immune system could help develop cure for common cold

Anti-allergy medicines may be effective treatment for deadly blood clots in the legs

Anti-allergy medicines may be effective treatment for deadly blood clots in the legs

Researchers receive $1.8 million grant to improve diabetes care for disadvantaged populations

Researchers receive $1.8 million grant to improve diabetes care for disadvantaged populations

Maternal exposure to air pollution early in pregnancy linked to preterm, low birth weight babies

Maternal exposure to air pollution early in pregnancy linked to preterm, low birth weight babies

Researchers provide evidence supporting need for gender-specific anti-inflammatory drugs

Researchers provide evidence supporting need for gender-specific anti-inflammatory drugs