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Expert Video - What is asthma?

In this video, Dr Sanjay Sethi and Dr Heather Lehman explain that asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by inflammation or swelling in the airways. The swelling can make it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, frequent coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. The doctors explain that if you have asthma, your airways are always inflamed even if you don’t notice any symptoms. Asthma is an underlying disease that should be managed on a daily basis and not just at times of an attack. Asthma is very treatable and by working closely with your doctor and taking asthma treatments you can keep your asthma well managed and have a good quality of life.

Expert Video - What causes asthma?

In this video, Dr Sanjay Sethi and Dr Heather Lehman discuss the causes of asthma, which can be very different for different people. They explain that people who have a family history of allergies or asthma might be more prone to developing asthma. They also talk about childhood asthma, allergic asthma, and occupational asthma where certain exposures act as triggers for asthma. While doctors can't always determine what causes asthma, they can recommend the best ways to help treat it.

Expert Video - What is an asthma attack? What can trigger an asthma attack?

In this video, the experts explain that an asthma attack is what happens when inflammation or swelling in the airways gets worse, leading to worsening asthma symptoms (more cough, more wheezing, more tightness of the chest, more shortness of breath). Asthma attacks can occur suddenly and can be mild, moderate, or severe. Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Common triggers discussed in this video include: allergies, emotional distress, smoking or second-hand smoke, strong odors, temperature changes, and viral respiratory illnesses. Asthma symptoms can also get worse during exercise, or when you have a cold or flu. Work with your doctor to identify what your triggers are, because avoiding those triggers is also a very important part of managing asthma.

Expert Video - How are allergies and asthma related?

In this video, Dr Sanjay Sethi and Dr Heather Lehman discuss the connection between allergies and asthma. The discussion includes allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and genetics. It is important to recognize the connection because if you have both allergies and asthma, then getting control of your allergies will help with your asthma care as well. Experts recommend that allergy testing be done for anyone with persistent asthma because it can help identify important triggers.