Pulmonology

Asthma

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What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease in which the airways or bronchial tubes in the lungs become swollen or inflamed. When the airways become swollen, it is hard for the air to move in and out of the lungs.

Signs of asthma

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath or chest tightness
  • Coughing (especially at night or with activity)

Asthma flare

Airways or bronchial tubes become:

  • Swollen or inflamed
  • Congested with increased mucus
  • Tight or constricted
  • Sensitive and easily irritated 

Triggers

During an asthma flare, your airways react more easily to:

  • Colds (respiratory infections)
  • Allergies (outdoor and indoor types)
  • Cigarette smoke (and other kinds of smoke)
  • Changes in the weather/temperature
  • Animal hair and dander
  • Exercise, sport and play

Asthma facts in children

  • Asthma is one of the most common serious chronic diseases of childhood.
  • Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 15.
  • An average of one out of every 10 school-aged children has asthma.
  • Asthma in children is the cause of 7 million physician visits and nearly 200,000 hospitalizations in the US per year.
  • 13 million school days and 15 million workdays are missed each year due to asthma.
  • An estimated 400,000 to 1 million children with asthma have their condition worsened by exposure to secondhand smoke.

Asthma myths

  • Children outgrow asthma.
  • Asthma inhalers need only be used when the child is sick.

Summer camp for children with asthma

Camp Easy Breathers is a summer camp for children with asthma who are 7-14 years of age.
Click here for more information or to register.