Asthma

Updated 30 May 2016

Asthma symptoms increase in springtime

There is no cure for asthma, but a personalised care plan can prevent attacks from occurring, helping patients lead a full and active life.

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Asthma symptoms increase in spring, making it especially important for people with the lung disease to be aware of triggers and risk factors, an expert says.

25 million Americans affected

"Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing," said Dr Linda Rogers, director of the clinical asthma programme at Mount Sinai-National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute, in New York City.

Read: Vitamin D supplements may improve asthma symptoms

"While there is no cure for asthma, a personalised care plan including appropriate medications and education on triggers and proper care techniques can prevent attacks from occurring, helping patients lead a full and active life," she said in a Mount Sinai news release.

An asthma attack can cause airways to swell, which constricts airflow and results in difficulty breathing.

Read: Asthma: a needless killer of our time

Common asthma triggers include tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, dust mites, pet dander, idling cars, cockroach allergen and mould.

Asthma affects 25 million Americans, or 8 percent of the nation's population, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Read more:

Causes of asthma

Symptoms of asthma

How is asthma diagnosed?

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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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