Asthma

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Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways of the lungs. During an asthma episode or attack, the airways narrow and swell causing breathing difficulties, chest tightness and wheezing. Asthma symptoms vary in severity. For some people, asthma is only a minor irritation. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Symptoms of asthma, such as coughing, often become worse during physical activity or at night. There are an estimated 235 million people suffering from asthma around the world. It affects people of all ages, but most often starts during childhood. Asthma is also the most common chronic disease among children. Often under-diagnosed and under-treated, its symptoms can be controlled with the right treatment plan.

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Asthma symptoms are not the same for everyone. Symptoms can range from minor to severe, and can even change from episode to episode in the same person. Some common signs and symptoms of asthma include: Coughing, which is often worse at night or early in the morning A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling Chest tightness or pain Shortness of breath

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The exact causes of asthma are not completely understood. The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are a combination of genetic predisposition with environmental factors. The airways in a person with asthma are very sensitive and are set off by many triggers. Contact with these triggers cause asthma symptoms. Although triggers differ from person to person, common enviro

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To diagnose asthma, your doctor will first review your symptoms, medical history and family history. Your doctor will ask about the severity of your symptoms, as well as when and how often they occur. He or she will also want more information about your personal and family histories of asthma, allergies and respiratory illnesses. Afterwards, your doctor will perform a physic

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Treatment for asthma generally focuses on preventing inflammation or relaxing the muscles that line airways. It is important to work with your doctor to write an asthma action plan that’s right for you. Below is a list of treatments commonly prescribed. Medications: Several types of medication are available to treat asthma. Some treat acute attacks (known as "re

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It is not possible to prevent asthma. However, you can take steps to prevent the symptoms and keep the disease under control. These steps include: Educating yourself about asthma: Learn about your asthma and ways to control it. Avoiding environmental triggers: Stay away from triggers such as cigarette smoke and strong chemicals. Taking your medicat

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