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ASTHMA Asthma is a respiratory disease in which spasm and constriction of the bronchial passages and swelling of their mucous lining cause obstruction of breathing Anastasiow 1997 Etiology This disease is often due to allergies such as dust smoke cold air exercise animal fur or feathers molds and pollen Allergic asthma is also called atopic or extrinsic asthma Many people with allergic asthma also suffer from hay fever which is an allergic reaction usually to airborne pollen of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes characterized by nasal discharge sneezing and itchy watery eyes Encarta 1997 Asthma in adults is less likely to be caused by allergies Non-allergic asthma is called intrinsic asthma The frequency and the extreme in which asthma symptoms occur vary from one person to another Most attacks occur at night beginning with coughing or wheezing and shortness of breath but in some people a dry cough may be the only symptom This may be partially due to the fact that you stay in your room sleeping for eight hours at a time Dust mites collect in your bedding curtains pillows and rugs To avoid this you should have your mattress and pillows sealed in a plastic covering no curtains and you should have hard wood floors in your bedroom instead of rugs or carpets Office Visits From 1975 to 1993-1995 the estimated annual number of office visits for asthma more than doubled from 46 million to 104 million Increasing rates were evident among all race both sexes and all age groups Emergency Room Visits Data for emergency room visits are from 1992-1995 Over this period the national rate of emergency room visits for asthma only changed by 18 million visits Hospitalization Between 1979-1980 and 1993-1994 the estimated national number of asthma - related hospitalization increased from 386000 to 466000 Hospitalization rates for asthma were consistently higher among blacks than they were among whites During
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