Asthma, a chronic condition, affects more than 20 million Americans, with most having their first onset of symptoms before 20 years of age. A layer of smooth muscle surrounds the airways inside your lungs. Inflammation of the airways and smooth muscle constriction make the airways much narrower in persons with asthma. These individuals are much more sensitive to certain triggers. Smoke, allergens, exercise, cold air and infection are some of the more common triggers of asthma. Certain cases of asthma have a progressive worsening that may lead to serious attacks, and even death.
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