Asthma Treatment News and Information

What is Asthma? (Definition)

Asthma is a chronic condition involving the narrowing and swelling of airways of the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs. People who have asthma have inflamed airways. This condition can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. These episodes may occur a few times a day or a few times per week. Depending on the person they may become worse at night or with exercise.

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.

The exact cause of asthma isn’t known. Researchers think some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma, most often early in life. These factors include:

  • An inherited tendency to develop allergies, called atopy (AT-o-pe)
  • Parents who have asthma
  • Certain respiratory infections during childhood
  • Contact with some airborne allergens or exposure to some viral infections in infancy or in early childhood when the immune system is developing

For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma can’t be cured, but thankfully its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it’s important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.

Symptoms and Signs of Asthma

Sometimes asthma symptoms are mild and go away on their own or after minimal treatment with asthma medicine. Other times, symptoms continue to get worse. Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times, or have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get checked by your doctor or healthcare professional to identify the specific cause and get treatment if necessary.

See below for updated news and information regarding Asthma including new medical research, treatments and advancements. 

Latest Asthma News

Asthma Study: Omega-3 supplements can help reduce risk of childhood asthma

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO) - Taking certain omega-3 fatty acid supplements during pregnancy can reduce the risk of childhood asthma by almost one third, according to a new study from the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) and the University of Waterloo. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that women who were prescribed 2.4 ...
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Asthma Research News: Insomnia Prevalent in Patients With Asthma

(SOURCE: AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CHEST PHYSICIANS) - A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh has found that insomnia is highly prevalent in adults with asthma and is also associated with worse asthma control, depression and anxiety symptoms and other quality of life and health issues. The study results are published in the current issue of the journal CHEST. Patients with ...
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Asthma Research: Turning off Asthma Attacks

(SOURCE: JOHN'S HOPKINS MEDICINE) Researchers discover a critical cellular “off” switch for the inflammatory immune response that causes asthma attacks. Working with human immune cells in the laboratory, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified a critical cellular “off” switch for the inflammatory immune response that contributes to lung-constricting asthma attacks. The switch, they say, is composed of regulatory proteins that ...
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Researchers Discover Increased Presence of Medicine Blocking PP5 Protein in Asthma Patients

(UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER) According to a recent University of Leicester press release, 'The study demonstrated for the first time that a protein called PP5 was significantly upregulated in the lungs of severe asthmatic patients compared to healthy controls. We are extremely excited by this paradigm shift observation.' - Dr Yassine Amrani, University of Leicester ...
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COPD Patients with History of Asthma Show Higher Rate of Hospitalization

(Healio) According to an article recently published in Healio, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients with a history of asthma showed a higher risk for disease-related hospitalizations, according to a population study published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ...
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Study Suggests 30 to 50 Percent of COPD Asthma Patients May Have Incorrect Diagnosis

(Science Daily) According to an article recently published in Science Daily, a $1.5 million grant has been awarded to a research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago to study the impact of diagnostic error on outcomes for pulmonary patients and the use of lung-function testing in primary care ...
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