Health

Brisbane's grass pollen season the worst on record

Brisbane's grass pollen levels over the past two months have been up to four times higher than levels recorded anywhere in Australia since comparative records have been kept, QUT's Professor Janet Davies told a federal parliamentary ...

Immunology

Gut bacteria's interactions with immune system mapped

The first detailed cell atlas of the immune cells and gut bacteria within the human colon has been created by researchers. The study from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and collaborators revealed different immune niches, showing ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Two former Japan cruise ship passengers die

Two elderly former passengers from the coronavirus-wracked Diamond Princess died Thursday, Japanese authorities said, as fears mount for those who have left the ship after testing negative for the virus.

Obstetrics & gynaecology

How our 'birth environment' can influence our health

Some links between our environment and our health are well known; air-quality alerts, for instance, are a regular part of the daily news. But few of us are aware that some of our major health risks were actually predicted ...

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Asthma (from the Greek άσθμα, ásthma, "panting") is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma is clinically classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate. Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic).

It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment of acute symptoms is usually with an inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist (such as salbutamol). Symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by inhaling corticosteroids. Leukotriene antagonists are less effective than corticosteroids and thus less preferred.

Its diagnosis is usually made based on the pattern of symptoms and/or response to therapy over time. The prevalence of asthma has increased significantly since the 1970s. As of 2010, 300 million people were affected worldwide. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths globally. Despite this, with proper control of asthma with step down therapy, prognosis is generally good.

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