What is Asthma?
An estimated 17 million people living in the United States have self-reported asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease marked by wheezing, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath.
Any of the symptoms below can be a sign of asthma:
• Excessive coughing while exercising or following exercise;
• Shortness of breath;
• Wheezing while breathing
• A tight feeling in the chest
If you or someone you know experiences the above conditions, consult an allergist. Your allergist will be able to tell you the causes of your symptoms. If allergies are left untreated they can develop into asthma, so it’s important to see an allergist when you first start experiencing problems.
Asthma symptoms are caused by the constriction (tightening of the muscles) and the inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the airways. Constriction and inflammation of the airways and increased mucosa make it difficult and sometimes impossible to breathe.
What causes asthma?
Allergens, irritants, respiratory infections and/or exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. Asthma is often placed in different categories according to symptom “triggers.”
Allergic asthma is triggered by allergic reactions to allergens such as pet dander, dust or dust mite, mold or pollen.
Seasonal asthma is triggered by seasonal allergic reactions to allergens such as trees, grasses or weeds.
Non-allergic asthma is triggered by irritants in the air that you breathe such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room deodorizers, fresh paint, perfume, etc.
Exercise-induced asthma is triggered by exercise or physical activity.
Nocturnal asthma can occur in a patient with any type of asthma, though the asthma symptoms will increase or worsen at night.
For treatment, it is important to recognize asthma “triggers.”
What about children and asthma?
Asthma is the most common chronic illness among children. If a child's asthma is left untreated, it can result in loss of sleep, exercise limitations, absenteeism, emergency room visits and, in a few cases, death.
The good news? Just like adult asthma, a child's asthma can be effectively treated with medications and “trigger” avoidance. Again, receiving medical help for asthma
The Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center, http://www.allergyasc.com, is one of the greater, more established allergy practices in the nation. AASC is staffed by an experienced and caring team of multidisciplinary specialists, board certified in infant, pediatric, adolescent and adult allergy, asthma and immunology. All of our providers are dedicated to providing our patients with expert and friendly care.
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Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center, http://www.allergyasc.com, has offices located conveniently in Greater Knoxville, Athens, Cookeville, Crossville, Johnson City, Maryville, Morristown, Mt. Juliet, Oak Ridge, Old Hickory, Sevierville, TN and Corbin, KY