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Asthma


Asthma is a highly common inflammatory disease of the airways. Inflammation causes the airways to become overly sensitive to irritants and increase one's susceptibility to allergens. The swelling results in a narrowing of the airways making it difficult for air to flow freely to and from the lungs.

Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest area, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. It is thought that asthma is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

As asthma attack, or an episode, is when symptoms experienced are more severe than usual. During an episode what typically happens is the muscles of the airways tighten, inflammation occurs and excess mucus is produced, thus resulting in less airflow.

Someone who suffers from long-lasting or recurrent asthma is considered to be asthmatic.