Monday, April 27, 2009

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes a person to have difficulty breathing. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about asthma in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts in childhood. In the United States, more than 22 million people are known to have asthma. Nearly 6 million of these people are children.

Young children who have frequent episodes of wheezing with respiratory infections, as well as certain other risk factors, are at the highest risk of developing asthma that continues beyond 6 years of age.

Itís important to treat symptoms when you first notice them. This will help prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing a severe asthma attack. Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can cause death.

Asthma canít be cured. Even when you feel fine, you still have the disease and it can flare up at any time. But with todayís knowledge and treatments, most people who have asthma are able to manage the disease and live normal, active lives.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.