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Asthma Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects people of all ages. It can be severe and is sometimes fatal. It is primarily caused by inflammation of the airways which causes them to be hyper-irritated and respond with mucus production and decreased air flow. This irritability may be associated with cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and mucus production. This condition is usually reversible with the proper medical management. The tendency to have extra-irritable ( twitchy ) airways may have an inherited component, or may be acquired. This tendency is, then , acted on by any number of stimuli (singly or in combination) including: air temperature, respiratory viruses, pollution, odors, allergens, stress, chemicals, dust and cigarette smoke ( active or passive ). The two most important triggers for people are respectively viruses and cigarette smoke. Spasm of the bronchial's smooth muscle, may play a role in immediate symptoms of asthma, but is much less a factor than previously believed. Airway inflammation is, by far, the more important factor. Some asthma can triggered only by vigorous exercise which causes airway irritability in susceptible individuals due to drying of the airways because of rapid breathing in and out. Many different cells in the lining of the airways produce chemicals which are responsible for asthma symptoms. Most asthma symptoms can be well controlled with the proper use of various medicines, regular medical care, and self-monitoring of the air flow and symptoms. Even a well-controlled asthmatic who is usually symptom-free on a given therapeutic scheme may except one or more acute symptom flares a year. Most frequently, these flares result from viral respiratory tract infection and can be treated more easily if caught early in the course of the flare. Inhaled mediums are the mainstay of asthma treatment. These can be either beta agonists such as Ventolin, Proventil ( which relax tight airway muscles ) or they can be anti-inflammatory inhalers such as Intal, Vanceril, Azmacort. Combined therapy may be recommended for some people, depending upon the nature and severity of the symptoms. Oral bronchodilators such as theophylline or oral beta agonists may occasionally be of assistance in addition to inhaled medicines. Currently, however, they play a far less important role in asthma treatment than they previously did. Oral Prednisone is the ultimate asthma medicine due to its potent anti-inflammatory actions, and can be safely taken in moderately strong doses of short periods of time. Long-term oral Prednisone treatment may be indicated for severe asthma which fails to respond to all other measures. Side effects of long-term Predinsone treatment include gastritis, ulcers, weakening of bones, thin skin, easy bruising and suppression of the normal adrenal gland, cortisone response to stress. These side effects can be minimized ( but not eliminated ) by the following special dosage schedules. Another unique way of treatment is by watching the environment that you are in! Dust is one of the most common irritant that can give you that " twitchy " feeling. Many people diagnosed with asthma don't feel like exercising, and many others are to afraid to. Dr. Sarah Robins said, " You should look up to athletes like Jackie Joyner-Kersee she holds many World Records, and asthma didn't stop her! So all asthmatic are encourage to be the best at what they do!" People who are asthmatic should take many precautions. Untreated asthma can be fatal. The main reason for asthma-related deaths are ( 1 ) failure to patient ot recognize the severity of the attack and waiting to use inhalers despite escalating symptoms; ( 2 ) physician failure to recognize increase inflammatory symptoms early in

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