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.
Past exposures influence immune response in children with acute respiratory tract infections

Past exposures influence immune response in children with acute respiratory tract infections

Researcher provides insight into how stress causes physical symptoms and disease

Researcher provides insight into how stress causes physical symptoms and disease

Increased rate of language delay in girls linked to acetaminophen use by mothers during pregnancy

Increased rate of language delay in girls linked to acetaminophen use by mothers during pregnancy

Telemedicine support and school-based care reduce ER visits in half for children with asthma

Telemedicine support and school-based care reduce ER visits in half for children with asthma

Monthly cycles of brain activity linked to seizures in patients with epilepsy

Monthly cycles of brain activity linked to seizures in patients with epilepsy

New yardstick offers practical recommendations for treatment of atopic dermatitis

New yardstick offers practical recommendations for treatment of atopic dermatitis

Kids show signs of mental disorder soon after being diagnosed with chronic illness

Kids show signs of mental disorder soon after being diagnosed with chronic illness

Asthma and allergic rhinitis linked to increased risk of cataracts

Asthma and allergic rhinitis linked to increased risk of cataracts

Reverberations from war complicate Vietnam veterans’ end-of-life care

Reverberations from war complicate Vietnam veterans’ end-of-life care

Scientists discover five new regions of the genome that increase asthma risk

Scientists discover five new regions of the genome that increase asthma risk

FeNO test may be helpful tool that aids in asthma diagnosis

FeNO test may be helpful tool that aids in asthma diagnosis

Special precautions not required when people with egg allergy take flu shots

Special precautions not required when people with egg allergy take flu shots

Untreated and overweight children may have worse asthma symptoms

Untreated and overweight children may have worse asthma symptoms

Mountain cedar allergy season set to strike this year

Mountain cedar allergy season set to strike this year

Special issue highlights factors affecting healthcare for LGBT older adults

Special issue highlights factors affecting healthcare for LGBT older adults

Coarse particulate matter exposure linked to increased asthma risk in children

Coarse particulate matter exposure linked to increased asthma risk in children

Study: Allergens found to be widespread, but highly variable in U.S. homes

Study: Allergens found to be widespread, but highly variable in U.S. homes

Hydraulic fracturing is harmful to infants health, study states

Hydraulic fracturing is harmful to infants health, study states

Human ‘common cold’ virus kills healthy chimpanzees in Uganda

Human ‘common cold’ virus kills healthy chimpanzees in Uganda

Steroid study provides new insights into medicines' side effects

Steroid study provides new insights into medicines' side effects