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“Hold your breath and count to ten!”<br />
“It was simply breathtaking!” <br />
“You take my breath away.”

Romantic declarations, dramatic song lyrics. We recognize how vital the act of breathing is. But it’s not something we usually pay attention to as we do it – unless it becomes difficult.

People with asthma are prone to inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. In an asthma attack, breathing can be hampered by any number of situations, with reactions along a scale from mild chest tightness and and slight wheezing to painful chest and neck muscle constrictions, shortness of breath and compromised lung function in a medical emergency. Nationally, asthma leads to about one-quarter of all emergency room visits each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.

Two Pennsylvania cities are among the AAFA’s Top 10 “2012 Asthma Capitals” (Pittsburgh at #4 and Allentown at #10) based on pollen scores (airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores) the number of allergy medications used per patient and the number of allergy specialists per patient. But asthma is an increasingly prevalent health issue no matter where you live.

Rasa Kaye talks with Pulmonologist Dr. Andrew Martin of Deborah Heart & Lung Center in New Jersey about asthma triggers, asthma treatments and the latest programs for managing this increasingly prevalent chronic disease.

To learn more, visit Deborah.org 

(Credit: Deborah)

(Credit: Deborah)