Encyclopedia of Wellness: From Açaí Berry to Yo-Yo Dieting

Asthma is a disease that affects breathing. It attacks and damages lungs and airways. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2009 over 24 million Americans suffered from asthma. Asthma is described as like breathing through a straw; it can be a serious threat to persons of any age. Childhood asthma attracts attention because of its potential developmental consequences. Asthma is characterized by partially blocked airways. It can occur periodically or reactively, and attacks or events can range from mild to severe. The nose, sinuses, and throat can become constricted. Breathing becomes difficult and is accompanied by coughing and wheezing.

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