Immunology

Study finds unique form of chronic sinusitis in older patients

Older patients with a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis—a disease of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses that often persists over many years—have a unique inflammatory signature that may render them less responsive to ...

Health

Air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems

As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest U.S. study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients ...

Medical research

As the oceans rise, so do your risks of breast cancer

It is encouraging to see greater attention in the media to the issue of climate change and its effects on the life-support systems of the planet. The link between breast cancer and the environment, however, is being overlooked.

Immunology

Asthma medications: Know your options

Confused about your asthma medications? Here's what you need to know to sort out the main classes and numerous subtypes of asthma drugs.

Immunology

Friends' vaping could pose danger to kids with asthma

(HealthDay)—Add another danger that e-cigarettes pose to teenagers: A new study finds secondhand exposure to vaping may raise the chances of asthma attacks in adolescents with the respiratory condition.

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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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