Answers FAQ

Asthma FAQs

Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Take the Asthma Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
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Q:Asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. True or False?

A:True. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways (bronchial tree) that carry oxygen to the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. This results in asthma symptoms including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

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Q:Asthma is most common in people under 40 years of age. True or False?

A:True. Asthma affects 22 million Americans. Asthma may occur at any age, although it's more common in people under age 40.

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Q:An asthma what occurs when asthma symptoms become worse than usual?

A:Attack. When asthma symptoms become suddenly worse than usual, a person is said to be having an asthma attack. Severe asthma attacks can close the airways so much that vital organs do not get enough oxygen.

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Q:Chest pain is a common symptom of an asthma attack. True or False?

A:True. With an asthma attack, your airways tighten, swell up, or fill with mucus. Common symptoms include the following: -coughing, especially at night, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and pain, or pressure.

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Q:The body's poor exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide describes what condition?

A:Respiratory failure. Respiratory failure is a condition in which not enough oxygen passes from the lungs into the blood. Respiratory failure also can occur if your lungs can't properly remove carbon dioxide from your blood.

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Q:Anyone who wheezes has asthma. True or False?

A:False. Wheezing does not necessarily indicate asthma. Wheezing can also be a sign of other health conditions, such as respiratory infection, heart failure, and other serious problems.

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Q:Asthma can be cured, so it is not serious and nobody dies from it. True or False?

A:False. There is no cure for asthma, but the disease can be controlled in most patients with good medical care. The condition should be taken seriously, since uncontrolled asthma may result in emergency hospitalization and possible death.

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Q:The presence of what allergen can trigger an asthma attack? Cockroaches or Mice?

A:Cockroaches. Indoor and outdoor environmental factors such as dust mites, molds, cockroaches, pet dander, and secondhand smoke can trigger asthma attacks.

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