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HHS HealthBeat (July 17, 2012)

Life with asthma

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Asthma makes it hard to breathe. It’s a chronic disease that narrows the airways to your lungs, making it difficult to get air in, and out. It can begin as early as childhood. You may often hear about asthma attacks. Dr. James Kiley at the National Institutes of Health explains.

“People are reacting to agents, allergens, that lead to this narrowing of the airway, the inflammation, the swelling that occurs, then it gets very difficult to move air in and out.”

There’s no cure for asthma, but it can be treated effectively if you do the right things.

“Use the medicines as prescribed. Make sure that you use it. Don’t walk into places where there’s heavy tobacco smoke or allergens or things like that, when you know that’s going to trip off your asthma. And schedule regular asthma visits with your physician.”

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: July 16, 2012