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What is Asthma?

It is a chronic disease that narrows the airways and makes breathing difficult. It usually occurs in response to triggers such as allergens or smoke. In this case, the smooth muscles surrounding the airways contract and the production of sticky mucus increases, leading to narrowing of the airways. Risk factors for asthma, which can affect both children and adults, include living in cities with poor air quality, smoking or being a passive smoker, having allergies, and having a family history of asthma or allergies.

The cause of asthma is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic factors, infections, environmental influences and personal medical conditions. Asthma triggers include pollen, pets, dust mites, exercise, smoke, excessively hot or cold air, air pollution, chemical odors, obesity, stress, viral infections, certain medications, and additives in processed foods.

Asthma usually progresses in attacks and symptoms appear when it flares up. These symptoms include wheezing or whistling, coughing, chest tightness or pain and shortness of breath.

To diagnose asthma, the doctor first takes a medical history and performs a physical examination. Some tests are also used:

Spirometre: It is a test used to measure the degree of narrowing of the airway.
Peak Current Measurement: It is used to monitor changes in lung function.
Imaging: Chest X-rays or computed tomography can be used to observe the accumulation of sticky mucus or structural problems.
Methacholine Test: It is used to assess respiratory tract sensitization.
Allergy Tests: It is used to determine sensitization to potential allergens.


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Treatment consists of regular medication to control symptoms. There is no definitive cure for asthma, but lifestyle changes are also recommended:

Quit smoking
Avoiding allergens
Prevent chemical fumes and odors
Being in clean and humid environments
Perform appropriate exercises

Asthma treatment can vary according to the severity of symptoms and is determined by the physician.



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