Approximately 15 million Americans suffer
from asthma. Of these, 5 million asthma sufferers are children.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are
the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have
asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen).
The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend
to react strongly to things to which you are allergic or find
irritating. When the airways react, they get narrower and less
air flows through to your lung tissues. This causes asthma
symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe),
coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing. Asthma cannot
be cured, but for most patients it can be controlled through
asthma medications so that you have only minimal and infrequent
symptoms and you can live an active life.
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