A Word From Our Experts
May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Over 6 million children in America (8%) have asthma, and the numbers are increasing. Here is Dr. Eugenia Gray, of Union E.N.T., to tell us more about this common medical condition.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which the air passages are supersensitive. During an asthma attack, the airways swell and narrow in response to some type of irritation or trigger. Triggers can include pollen, mold, dust mites, smoke, odors, fumes, cold air, and exercise.
Is asthma a serious condition?
Definitely. Without proper management, asthma can be life-threatening. The smallest airways in a child’s lungs are about the diameter of a piece of thread. They are very small. If these become at all restricted by tightened muscles, and by mucosal swelling, then breathing becomes difficult.
How do you treat patients with asthma?
Long-term control medications help to prevent or reduce both the tightening and the inflammation of airways. Quick-relief or rescue inhalers are designed to provide immediate but temporary relief when an attack first begins.