Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Wildfire smoke poses special threat to people with asthma

(HealthDay)—People with asthma and other respiratory illnesses need to be aware of the threat that wildfire smoke poses to their breathing and take steps to protect themselves, an allergy expert warns.

Immunology

Asthma patients given risky levels of steroid tablets

More than one quarter of asthma patients have been prescribed potentially dangerous amounts of steroid tablets, with researchers warning this puts them at greater risk of serious side-effects.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bronchitis as a child predicts worse lung health in middle age

People who had bronchitis at least once before the age of seven are more likely to develop lung problems in later life, according to new research presented at the 'virtual' European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Medical research

Allergic asthma transforms cells of the airway

New research at National Jewish Health shows that allergic asthma fundamentally transforms the human airway, reducing cells' ability to remove pollutants and fight infections. Allergic asthma, the most common form of the ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Asthma may not be a significant risk factor for severe COVID-19

A new research letter published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society examines whether asthma is a significant risk factor for developing COVID-19 that is severe enough to warrant hospitalization and intubation. ...

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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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