Conditions InDepth: Asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the lining of the airways. In some cases, it is also a chronic allergic condition.The airways become swollen and narrowed and they produce extra mucus. The narrowing causes contractions. Episodes of worsening asthma called asthma attacks occur when the narrowing worsens.
|Inflamed Bronchus in the Lungs|
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- Animal dander—fine scales from skin, hair, or feathers
- Dust mites
- Viral infections of the respiratory tract
- Strong odors or sprays
- Chemicals, including preservatives containing sulfites and dyes which are in many foods
- Air pollutants, especially ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide
- Changing weather conditions, especially cold air and dry air
- Tobacco smoke or wood smoke
- Drugs, including aspirin and other over-the-counter painkillers in individuals with a special type of asthma
- Exercise, especially when exertion occurs in a cold environment
- Emotional stress
Asthma overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunologywebsite. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/asthma.aspx . Accessed October 14, 2013.
Asthma. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/asthma . Accessed October 14, 2013.
Asthma overview. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8&sub=14 . Accessed October 14, 2013.
Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 19, 2013. Accessed October 14, 2013.
Asthma exacerbation in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated June 7, 2013. Accessed October 14, 2013.
Understanding asthma. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/asthma/understanding/Pages/default.aspx . Accessed October 14, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 09/17/2014