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Acute Care Advisor 2016.4 Copyright © 2016 RelayHealth, a division of McKesson Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.

What is asthma?

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Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) lung disease. It causes symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

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Asthma may be mild, moderate, or severe. An asthma attack may last a few minutes or a few days. Attacks can happen anywhere and at any time. Severe asthma attacks can be life threatening. It is very important to get prompt treatment for asthma attacks and to learn to manage your asthma so you can live a healthy, active life.

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Asthma is a long-lasting condition, even though you might not have any symptoms every day or even every year. It is more common in children than adults. People who had asthma as children often have no symptoms once they become adults. However, the symptoms may come back later in life. Asthma that develops for the first time in mid- or late life usually keeps being a problem for the rest of your life.

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You may find that there are things you used to do that you can no longer do because it is harder to breathe.

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Many Americans have asthma, and the number of people who have asthma is increasing worldwide.

What can I expect in the hospital?

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