Important Information on Asthma

How Is Asthma Diagnosed?

If you have possible symptoms of asthma, you should see your doctor. He or she may have you do some breathing tests to see how narrow your airway is. Your healthcare provider also may have you breathe in small doses of medicine to see if your airway reacts. A chest x-ray may be needed to rule out other airway and lung diseases. If you are diagnosed with asthma, your doctor can help you identify the triggers that cause your condition to worsen.
 
(Click Diagnosing Asthma for more information.)
 

Treatment Options

Asthma can be well controlled with medications. Depending on how frequently you get symptoms, your doctor may give you short-term and/or long-term asthma medication. Short-term medications are only used when you have a sudden attack of asthma. They can open up your airway quickly to allow more airflow to your lungs. Long-term medications are used in people who have frequent symptoms to provide long-term relief. These medicines make the airway less sensitive to triggers.
 
(Click Asthma Treatment for more information.)
 

Asthma Statistics

In the United States, about 15 million people have asthma. Nearly 5 million of them are children. This condition is closely linked to allergies. Most, but not all, people with asthma have allergies. Children with a family history of allergy and asthma are more likely to have asthma.
 
Although this condition affects people of all ages, it often starts in childhood, and is more common in children than adults. More boys have asthma than girls; but in adulthood, more women have it than men.
 
Although this is a problem among all races, blacks have more asthma attacks and are more likely than whites to be hospitalized for attacks and to die from asthma.
 
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Information About Asthma

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