Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Pulmonologist offers tips to manage asthma

Asthma is a condition where airways narrow and swell, possibly producing extra mucus and other symptoms. While asthma affect adults, it's the most common long-term disease in children. More than 262 million people globally ...

Medical research

Asthma may reduce risk of brain tumors—but how?

There's not much good that can be said about asthma, a breathing disease in which the airways become narrowed and inflamed. But there's this: People with asthma seem to be less likely to develop brain tumors than others. ...

Inflammatory disorders

Melatonin exacerbates asthma

Asthma sufferers generally find their condition gets worse at night. Now, a research group may understand why. Melatonin, a sleep hormone that is sometimes prescribed to treat insomnia, exasperates the constriction of the ...

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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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