Test catches asthma in children before symptoms appear

Houston Herald

Nearly 7 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with asthma and thousands more are living undiagnosed, struggling to breathe each day. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that a commonly used pulmonary lung function test can provide early detection of asthma before a child shows any symptoms of breathing problems. This early diagnosis could reduce the number of people who have serious complications of the disease later in life.

Asthma affects the airways that carry air to and from a person’s lungs. When a person with asthma is exposed to irritants in the air, the airways narrow and restrict the amount of air that is allowed to pass through. When a patient inhales, the air starts in the trachea and moves into two large bronchi — the large airway. It gradually moves down into smaller bronchi — the smaller airway. Experts say that both the large and small airways need to be clear for a person to breathe properly...

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