Asthma 101

What is asthma? How do I treat it? Start your journey here.

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What IsAsthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes where the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes episodes of asthma are triggered by allergens, although infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers." rel="tooltip">Asthma?

Soccer star David Beckham. Actress Jessica Alba. Singer Billy Joel.

What do these celebrities have in common? They all have asthma – a chronic condition that causesInflammation is the redness, swelling, heat and pain in a tissue due to chemical or physical injury, or to infection. It is a characteristic of allergic reactions in the nose, lungs, and skin." rel="tooltip">inflammationand narrowing of the bronchial tubes, the passageways that allow air to enter and leave your lungs.

There are two types of asthma:

As a chronic condition, asthma is something you’ll have to manage regularly. But the good news is you don’t have to face it alone. And here’s thegreatnews: Just like David, Jessica and Billy, you don’t have to let asthma hold you back.

Find expert care.

With the help of an allergist, many people with asthma manage the condition well and live healthy and productive lives.

What are the signs that I might have asthma?

Do you have a regularcough你似乎不能踢?你挣扎to catch your breath? Is there a whistling or wheezing sound when you breathe? These can all be signs of asthma. Other commonsymptomsinclude chest tightness and shortness of breath. The key with asthma is that symptoms come back over and over again. Your allergist can evaluate whether your symptoms are a sign of asthma.

How common is asthma?

Asthma is very common: Asthma symptoms affect an estimated 26 million Americans, including 20 millionadultsand 6 millionchildren. That’s approximately 1 in 12 people. Asthma ranks among the most common chronic childhood illnesses, accounting for 13.8 million missed school days a year, as well as more than 14 million lost workdays for adults.

What causes asthma?

It’s hard to say for surewhat causes asthma, but family genetics are believed to be a key factor. Asthma often runs in families. Environmental factors, such as exposure to secondhand smoke or air pollution, can also play a role.

How do I treat asthma?

Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your asthma so that you can live the life you want. They will work with you to identify what triggers your asthma and then build a plan to help you avoid and manage those triggers. They may also prescribemedicationor, in some cases,allergy immunotherapy.

如果你有哮喘,你应该保持你的rescue inhaler with you wherever you are – at work, at school or on vacation. Albuterol is a particularly effective, fast-acting treatment to relax the muscles around your airways so you can breathe easier. If your asthma is severe or uncontrolled, your allergist may speak to you about biologics treatment or a procedure called bronchial thermoplasty.

What are common triggers for asthma?

A trigger is something that provokes a response from your body. In the case of asthma, your body sees these triggers as a threat and releases chemicals to combat them – and these chemicals, in turn, can cause anasthma attack.

Different things can act as triggers for different people, but common asthma triggers includeexercise,illnessand allergens such aspollen. Triggers can also come from certain medications, the weather, stress, smoke and even some foods.

What should I do if I suffer an asthma attack?

The best way to handle anasthma attackis to be prepared. Your allergist can help you create anasthma action plan, which can include specific steps to prevent and manage an asthma attack.

If an attack does occur, stay calm and use the medications your allergist has prescribed. These are typically administered with an inhaler.

Seek medical treatment if your coughing or shortness of breath persists or seems to get worse.

Can you cure asthma?

There is no cure for asthma, but there are effective treatments available. The best way to manage your asthma is to work withan allergist. Studies show that people with asthma who see a specialist such as an allergist reduce their:

  • Symptoms
  • Emergency room visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Sick visits to the doctor
  • Missed days from work or school
  • Health care costs

Don’t let asthma hold you back! Use theFind an Allergist tooland begin to take back control of your life.

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