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Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and tightness in the chest, which can be worse at certain times of the day and stimulated by certain environments. Asthma runs in families and particularly in hypersensitive or 'allergic-type' people, and is also influenced by exposure to passive smoking. Diagnosis is through taking a thorough medical history, a medical examination, doing a series of lung function tests and a trial of reliever medication; allergy testing may also prove useful. Asthma medication includes bronchodilators to open the small airways (relievers) and preventers in the form of inhaled steroids. Differential diagnoses to asthma include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute bronchitis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, cardiac failure, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and anxiety.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Mayo Clinic
About: Suspicion of asthma
Date: 30 June 2005
Source: Mayo Clinic
Author: Mayo Clinic Staff
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