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WHAT IS ASTHMA? Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. When this inflammation occurs, the asthma symptoms start to show, such as, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Even though there are many treatments for asthma symptoms, it is still a very serious disease that affects more than 22 million Americans and brings nearly 2 million E.R. visits per year. Asthma can be lived with very well as long as proper treatment measures are taken (Wrongdiagnosis). Asthma itself can be described as having 3 major features: airway obstruction, inflammation, and airway irritability. Airway obstruction-During normal breathing, the airways are relaxed and air can move freely. In people with asthma, however, certain triggers make those airways tighten and air cannot move freely. Inflammation-Individuals with asthma have red and swollen bronchial tubes. This inflammation contributes greatly to the long-term damage that asthma causes to the lungs. Treating inflammation is a key component to managing asthma in the long run. Airway irritability-The airways are extremely sensitive and tend to overreact and narrow due to even the slightest triggers (WebMD).

CAUSES/TRIGGERS There are no real causes of asthma but it can affect every single person differently. There is one thing consistent with asthma, and that is when the airways come into contact with a certain trigger, they become inflamed, narrow, and fill with mucus. Here are a few of the triggers and how they affect the airways; allergies=80% of people with asthma have allergies to airborne substances like trees, grass, weed pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust mites. Food/food additives=not common for food allergies to cause asthma symptoms but can cause life-threatening reactions. Such foods are eggs, cow’s milk,

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