Asthma can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. In my case, the doctor misdiagnosed it as bronchitis twice until I mentioned that my family has a history of asthma. Alarmingly, one report has found that over 14 million Americans have asthma.


 What is asthma?

Asthma results when mucus blocks the air tubes in the lungs. When these tubes are blocked, the chest may feel tight or constricted. When I have an asthma attack, I cannot take a deep breath unless I yawn.


What aggravates asthma?

I find that my asthma symptoms become worse when I am upset or under stress about something. The symptoms seem to improve when I'm in a good mood.
Common allergens, such as dust, pollen, and certain strong scents, aggravate asthma. When I start sneezing, my asthma flares up. (And don't get me started about perfume samples in magazines.)
Cold can also cause asthma to flare up. (I would think this is for the same reason that allergens affect asthma, but I do not know this for a fact.)
Exercise often causes one to be winded, but the asthma sufferer has more to worry about. For example, my asthma flared up when I quickly walked across the equivalent of two streets from work to the bus stop.


Can asthma be cured or treated?

There is no known cure; however, many organizations are researching new ways to treat this ailment and help asthmatics to more effectively manage their own asthma.
Perhaps the most common treatment is Ventolin, which is inhaled and is a form of albuterol. The doctor might also prescribe albuterol in capsule form. Check with your doctor.
The best way to avoid the recurrence of severe asthma attacks is to avoid things that aggravate asthma. This is not always possible, of course, but it helps to be prepared.


  No part of this page should be construed as medical advice. If you think you might have asthma, consult a physician. For more information about asthma, visit



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