Asthma Facts

By

Amy VanStee

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Women using inhaler

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease involving recurrent breathing problems. It's characterized by three airway problems: obstruction, inflammation, and hyper-responsiveness. Asthma may resemble other respiratory problems such as emphysema, bronchitis, and lower respiratory infections. If asthma is not diagnosed, many people don't know they have it.

The cause of the lung abnormality in asthma isn't yet known, although health care professionals have established that it is a special type of inflammation of the airways that leads to contraction of airway muscles, mucus production, and swelling in the airways.

Getting a diagnosis of asthma can be scary and intimidating. But with a little understanding and the right treatment plan, you can learn to control your asthma and keep it from slowing you down.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jan 19, 2016

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