Asthma is a very common disease seen in the United States, affecting approximately 15 million people.  Asthma is considered a chronic disease, because it is not curable, but the symptoms from asthma can vary from non-existent and mild, to severe and debilitating.

The characteristics of asthma include inflammation of the airways, the passages that conduct air throughout your lungs.  The airways of a patient with asthma are also sensitive to a variety of things that may trigger asthma, including allergens.  This sensitivity can lead to constriction of the airways, known as bronchoconstriction, which together with the inflammation seen with asthma may lead to obstruction of airflow through the air passages, which is why asthma is considered an obstructive lung disease.

The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person, but may include cough, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, limitation in exercise tolerance, or waking up at night due to asthma symptoms.

The diagnosis of asthma is made by using a combination of a patient’s story, along with the results of breathing tests and physical exam findings.

Once asthma is diagnosed, it may be readily treated using a comprehensive plan including avoidance of asthma triggers, the use of asthma medications,  and perhaps most importantly, patient education.

If you are concerned you have asthma, or are looking for a specialist to care for your asthma, please contact the Allergy and Asthma Center today!

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