ABCs of asthma

By Times Staff Writer
Published May 8, 2007

The word asthma originates from an ancient Greek word meaning panting. Asthma is an inability to breathe properly because airways in our lungs become narrowed, inflamed and choked with mucus.

People with asthma often have normal lung function between attacks. Episodes of asthma can be triggered by allergens, smoke and other airborne pollutants, cold air, exercise, infections, medications and acid reflux.

Asthma affects about 4.1-million children under age 18. It is the main cause of school absenteeism.

Up to 80 percent of children with asthma have significant allergies. Dust, pollen, mold, food and animals can cause allergic reactions.

Sources: thehealthpages.com, WebMD.com

Asthma campaign: www.aafa.org