Allergy Terms to Know

  • Allergen. An environmental substance, such as mold, pollen, dust mites, animal dander or feathers, that can trigger an asthma attack.

  • Bronchoconstriction. Tightening of the muscles around the airways, narrowing the airways and making breathing difficult.

  • Inflammation. Swelling and irritation in the airways of the lungs common in asthma.

  • Inhaler. Device that delivers asthma medication to the lungs.

  • Mucus. Wet, sticky substance that is produced by the airways when inflamed or infected.

  • Peak flow. A measure of how hard and fast air can be expelled from the lungs.

  • Triggers. Irritants or allergens, such as weather conditions, fumes, pollution or exercise, that can cause an asthma attack.

  • Wheezing. The whistling or squeaky sound created by the airways.

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