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Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the bronchial tubes and affects more than 17 million Americans. Common symptoms of asthma are wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, difficulty breathing during or after physical activity and waking up at night due to any of these symptoms. Asthma results in more than 5,000 deaths each year. Allergic rhinitis, or "hay fever", is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes due to an allergic response and affects more than 40 million Americans. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, runny nose, nasal obstruction, coughing, itchy eyes, throat or ears, shortness of breath and fatigue. See your allergist for more information on diagnosis and treatment.

The prevalence of asthma in the United States has increased steadily for the past two decades. Mortality rate for this disease has almost tripled in the past 20 years, reaching a peak of more than 5,000 annual deaths. This number is projected to double within the next two decades.

About one in 15 people has asthma, a chronic condition whose symptoms are attacks of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. There is no cure for asthma, but most people can control the condition and lead normal, active lives.

Different things set off asthma attacks in different people. Smoke from cigarettes or a fire, air pollution, cold air, pollen, animals, house dust, molds, strong smells such as perfume or bus exhaust, wood dust, exercise, industrial chemicals--all can trigger an attack.

Find out more about model by clicking on the topics below.

  What is Asthma?  

  What is an Asthma Attack?  

  What Causes Asthma?  

  How can I Control My Asthma?  

  What Medications are Used?  

  Myths and Facts about Asthma  

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12