What is asthma? Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease involving recurrent breathing problems. The characteristics of asthma are three airway problems: Obstruction Inflammation Hyperresponsiveness What are the symptoms of asthma? Common symptoms of asthma are listed below. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. In some cases, the only symptom is a chronic cough, especially at night, or tightness, noisy breathing, or wheezing.


Asthma is a long-term condition causing swelling and narrowing of the airways. The muscles around the airways tighten and extra mucus is produced. These changes make it more difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. Triggers are things that cause asthma flare-ups and worsen symptoms. Triggers may be dust, pollen, pets, infections, cold weather, smoke, air pollution, and exercise. Exercise is a common trigger for many people with asthma.


Acute severe asthma was previously called status asthmaticus. It is a sudden severe asthma that does not respond to medications. It is a life-threatening emergency. If you think someone has acute severe asthma, call 911 right away. Treatment takes place in the emergency department and the hospital. Causes Anyone with asthma can have an acute severe flare-up. Causes include: Respiratory infections, like a cold or sinus infection. Severe allergic reactions. Inhaling irritants.


How much do you know about this disease? What do the composer Beethoven and President Kennedy have in common? Asthma. Children are more likely to have asthma than are adults. In fact, asthma is the most common long-term childhood disease, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is the leading cause of long-term illness in children. When does it usually show up? Asthma symptoms may go away as children become adults. They may come back as adults get older.


Asthma Triggers What are the triggers that can cause an asthma flare-up? According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and other organizations, triggers for asthma include Allergens: Pollen Grasses and trees Mold Dust Cockroach droppings. Respiratory infections: Colds, the flu, sore throat, sinus infection. Irritants: strong odors and sprays, such as perfumes, household cleaners, paints, and varnishes. Chemicals.


Asthma on Campus College has extra challenges for the student with asthma. New and unfamiliar living quarters, school and social stresses, and other factors can trigger flare-ups. As always, prevention is important: Do your best to avoid triggers and to stay healthy. Update your asthma action plan, including how to deal with emergencies. These tips can help. Your new space Before you leave for college, review your triggers with your allergist, pulmonologist, or primary care provider.


Your Child’s Asthma: School Strategies If your child has asthma, you may worry about how he or she copes with asthma at school. Research shows that informed, supportive teachers and staff can play a big role in helping students manage their asthma. School strategies The CDC has identified six key strategies that teachers and staff can use to help children with asthma thrive at school. Not every strategy is appropriate or practical for every school situation.


Your Child’s Asthma: First Office Visit Your child has been coughing or wheezing, and you’re wondering whether it might be asthma. The first step toward finding out is scheduling a visit with your child’s health care provider. As you prepare for this visit, you may be wondering what questions the provider will ask or what tests and exams your child will need. With the information below, you and your child can go to that first visit knowing more about what to expect.


If you often have allergy symptoms—such as itchy, watery eyes; a runny nose; wheezing; sneezing; and hives or itchy skin— allergy testing can help determine if your symptoms are from allergies. Sometimes you can tell the allergic substance because of the time that your symptoms happen in the spring or fall, for instance. But you may need specific allergy testing to figure out other allergies. The health care provider will test how you react to allergens.