Wednesday, May 4, 2011

With asthma rates on the rise, here's how to manage symptoms

The rise in asthma rates has researchers a bit baffled. But while they focus on figuring out the reason, people with asthma have more practical concerns: preventing and controlling asthma attacks.

Data released Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show an increase in the number of Americans with asthma despite better air quality and a marked decline in smoking rates, as reported in the Los Angeles Times.

Doctors don't know how to prevent asthma because it's not clear what causes the disease — it may be caused partly by genetics and partly by exposure to irritants such as pollution and tobacco smoke. And there isn't a cure either.

But doctors know a lot about preventing asthma attacks — unpleasant, sometimes life-threatening bouts of coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

One of the first steps is to clean the house of common triggers, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

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