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Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by shortness of breath, feeling of tightness in the chest, and a chronic cough or repetitive throat clearing. Complaints from sufferers of the disease may include descriptions of becoming winded at the top of the stairs, the sensation of air seeming “thick” or “dense” or the inability to “get enough air”. These symptoms are caused by a combination of inflammation and swelling of the airways and a tightening of the muscles around the airways in the lungs. Because of the nature of the condition, a person with asthma is considered to have persistent bronchitis.

Preventative treatments, such as a click inhaler, can be used to keep the inflammation and swelling to a minimum before symptoms appear or an asthma attack occurs. Treatment for sudden symptoms, such as a rescue inhaler, is necessary, as well. Regular check-ups with the doctor are needed in order to assess the effectiveness of the treatments in managing the illness. Many different treatments may be tested before success is achieved.

In order to not exacerbate the symptoms of the disease, other precautions are needed. Yearly flu shots are necessary as asthma is categorized as a high risk factor. A flu or bad cold combined with asthma can require a visit to the emergency room and, sometimes, a hospital stay depending on the severity of the combined symptoms. If asthma is diagnosed, testing for allergies is recommended. The two tend to happen together. Allergies are often diagnosable through a checklist of symptoms such as an itchy nose, chronic sneezing and watering or burning of the eyes. More thorough and extensive testing may be necessary, though. If allergies exist, a daily over the counter allergy medication is suggested. If the allergy symptoms persist or are severe, a prescription medication may be successful.

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