Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care.

What is asthma?

Asthma is chronic disease that affects your airways. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways may swell in response to something you’re allergic to or find irritating.

What causes asthma?

The cause of asthma is unknown, but some people are more at risk than others. Risk factors include genetics, allergies, obesity and exposure to fumes, pollution, infections or tobacco smoke. Women and blacks also tend to have asthma more than other groups.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma can cause your airways to narrow, making it more difficult for your lungs to get air. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing (especially early in the morning or at night), chest tightness and shortness of breath. When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it's called an asthma attack. Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can be fatal. Not everyone with these symptoms has asthma.

How does Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center diagnose asthma?

Your doctor will diagnose the condition based on a lung-function test, your medical history and a physical exam. You also may have allergy tests.

How does Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center treat asthma?

Doctors use two kinds of medicine to treat asthma: quick-relief medicines to stop symptoms and long-term control medicines to prevent symptoms from developing.

Why choose Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center for asthma treatment?

The OSU Asthma Center is the only dedicated asthma center in central Ohio. We provide evidence-based treatment supported by research and state-of-the-art services personalized for each patient. You can learn more about Ohio State’s approach to asthma care [link to asthma experience] in our dedicated asthma section.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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