Asthma

About 1 in 12 people in the U.S. have asthma, and the numbers are increasing every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing. We don’t know why asthma rates are rising, but we do know that taking medications and avoiding triggers such as smoke or allergens can help prevent asthma attacks.

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Causes and Risk Factors

Experts don't know exactly what causes asthma. But we do know that asthma tends to run in families. And it's much more common in people who have allergies. Other risk factors include smoking, allergens, obesity, and chronic wheezing as a child.

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Prevention

Certain things can make asthma worse, so it’s important to avoid these triggers. Triggers can include smoking or being around smoke, pollen, air pollution, or dry, cold air. Controlling things like mold and pet allergens can also help you avoid an attack.

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Symptoms and Diagnosis

Your asthma symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe, ranging from breathing faster than normal to gray skin color. To find out if you have asthma, your doctor may examine you, ask questions about your health, or order tests, including a breathing test.

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Complications

During an asthma attack, the airways swell and narrow. This makes it hard to breathe. Severe asthma attacks can be life threatening, but you can help prevent them by keeping your asthma under control and treating symptoms before they get bad.

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Treatment

Medications are the main way to treat asthma, along with taking care of yourself and avoiding asthma triggers. Asthma medications include inhalers for long-term asthma control, quick-relief inhalers, and oral or injected steroids, among other options.

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Self-Care and Management

There are things you can do for yourself to help manage your asthma, like taking your medicine, avoiding triggers such as smoke or allergens, and following an asthma action plan to help prevent attacks.

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Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Self-Care

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Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Self-Care

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