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Asthma Words to Know

Definition: Airway Obstruction

When we breathe, air passes through our airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs) to get to our lungs.

Definition: Allergen

An allergen is a substance that's capable of producing an allergic reaction.

Definition: Allergy-Triggered Asthma

Allergy-triggered asthma is a type of asthma commonly seen in children.

Definition: Animal Dander

All warm-blooded animals shed tiny flakes from their skin called dander (it's like dandruff in humans, but it's much harder to see).

Definition: Asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disorder that causes airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs) to become inflamed, which means that they swell and produce lots of thick mucus.

Definition: Asthma Action Plan

An asthma action plan is a set of individualized written instructions, designed with a doctor, that detail how a person with asthma should manage his or her asthma at home.

Definition: Asthma Flare-Up

When symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, become more severe, more frequent, or both, it's known as an asthma flare-up.

Definition: Bronchial Tubes

When a person breathes, air taken in through the nose or mouth then goes into the trachea (windpipe). From there, it passes through the bronchial tubes, into the lungs, and finally back out again. People with asthma have bronchial tubes that are inflamed.

Definition: Bronchoconstriction

Along with inflammation of the airways, bronchoconstriction leads to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Definition: Bronchodilator

Bronchodilators are medications commonly used by people with asthma.