Asthma is a disease of the lungs that causes the airways to:
The symptoms of asthma are:
Asthma is very common; it is the most common chronic condition of childhood. Uncontrolled asthma can lead to missed work and school days, interrupted sleep patterns and, ultimately, poor work and school performance.
The cause of asthma is uncertain. Among those at higher risk for asthma are those who:
Triggers are things that make your asthma symptoms start up or get worse. Asthma triggers include allergens, exercise, irritants (strong odors from cleaning products, perfumes, wood smoke, etc.), tobacco smoke, infections (colds, flu), weather changes (changes in temperature and/or humidity), and emotions such as laughing or crying.
Allergies are when the body reacts to something that does not affect most people. Substances that cause allergies are called “allergens” and include things like pollens, molds, animal dander, and dust mites. Some people are also allergic to medications, foods and latex (rubber) products. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes and nose, coughing, and sometimes a rash or hives.
Allergy can be a trigger for people with asthma and can cause shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.
The goal of treating asthma and allergies is to control the disease. Your doctor or practitioner will work with you to:
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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