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Learning About Asthma
Asthma is a disease of the airways in the lungs caused by sensitivity to certain stimuli. Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from asthma. When sufferers encounter these stimuli, their bodies produce mucus that blocks or obstructs air to the lungs. The symptoms that asthma produces include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and a cough that lasts more than a week. Asthma is not contagious but often develops in several members of the same family. An asthma attack can be triggered by emotions, changes in the weather, and even the increased amount of pollutants in the air we breathe.

People with asthma should understand that it is a serious condition. Developing a working relationship with your doctor and receiving proper medical treatment will enable you to live with this lung disease.

Many asthma sufferers are prescribed some form of medication, either administered daily or at the first sign of an attack. Many respiratory aids are available to help administer these medications and monitor their effects. Nebulizers turn liquid medications into aerosol, allowing it to reach all areas of the lungs and bronchi. Peak-flow meters measure the exhaled force fo the lungs. When using one, asthmatics can often prevent an attack by looking for early warning signs.

Avoiding irritating stimulants is a helpful strategy. Air purifiers, Humidifiers and Vaporizers can help to clean the air, making it easier to breathe. Some practical changes to daily routine may be necessary in order to control your asthma, and should be discussed with your physician.

Remember, the best asthma attack is the one prevented.