• In Canada, asthma rates have increased four-fold over the last 20 years and although asthma-related deaths have decreased slightly over time, asthma still causes approximately 10 deaths each week, despite advances in what we know about the disease and the availability of effective medications.

  • Without even thinking about it, you breathe in and out about 15 to 25 times per minute when you're at rest. This can mean at least six hundred million breaths by the time you reach the age of 70. Your lungs, one of the largest organs of the body, and are part of the respiratory system. Because your lungs are critical to staying alive yet they need to be able to expand, they are protected by the strong yet flexible bones of by your rib cage.

  • Asthma is a lung condition that affects the airways (bronchial tubes) into your lungs, causing the tissues lining the airways to swell and become narrow making it difficult to breathe. The symptoms associated with asthma (coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath) are the result of this narrowing of the airways.

  • How bad are your asthma symptoms? Answer these questions and find out exactly how your asthma is affecting you. Getting specific with your condition is one step closer to getting your asthma under control.

  • There are several factors that can "trigger" asthma symptoms. These factors are known as asthma triggers. Everybody has their own set of triggers. Common asthma triggers include: allergens (substances that trigger allergies by causing an immune response): mold pollen animal dander cockroaches dust mites irritants (substances which do cause an immune system response): smoking second-hand smoke strong odours, such as paint fumes cold air air pollution humidity viral infections physical activity stress gastroesophageal reflux disease certain medications (e.

  • Diagnosing asthma can be difficult, since the symptoms are often similar to those of other respiratory conditions or heart disease. A diagnosis is usually based on a description of your symptoms, a complete medical history, a physical examination, and some laboratory tests. Diagnostic tests may include pulmonary (lung) function tests (PFTs), blood tests, chest X-ray, and allergy tests.

  • Your risk of asthma does increase with the number of risk factors you have, and asthma may develop even if you don't currently have any of the risk factors.

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