Asthma is a highly prevalent disease with a rising morbidity and mortality worldwide. In The United States about 15 millions individuals suffer from Asthma. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. A genetic predisposition to develop allergic sensitivities to common aeroallergens such as pollens, dust mite, animal dander airborne particles and others, constitute the strongest identifiable predisposing factor for developing asthma. Allergic inflammation of the airways contribute to airway hyperresponsiveness, otherwise known as twitchy airways, airflow limitation, respiratory symptoms and disease chronicity. It is the hyperresponsiveness state of the airways which is responsible for the recurrent acute exacerbation of asthma. The symptoms of asthma are frequently worse at night. Symptoms may include intermittent coughing, wheezing, episodic shortness of breath, or wheezing on exertion only.

In most cases symptoms are intermittent or seasonal but at other times they may become chronic. Other exacerbating factors are various irritant aerosols (tobacco smoke, household aerosols, pollutants, chemical odors etc.), upper airway infections, exercise and others. Patients with asthma must be evaluated properly, particularly if their disease is significant enough to cause them substantial dysfunction in their daily activities. Evaluation should include spirometry (pulmonary capacity testing) and a thorough evaluation for allergic sensitivities, chronic sinusitis and other potential aggravating factors. Treatment of asthma include patient education, anti-inflammatory therapy (mostly via inhalers), bronchodilators, allergen avoidance and potentially immunotherapy in selected patients. Desensitization immunotherapy, commonly called allergy shots, is the only potentially curative treatment available in allergic respiratory illnesses.