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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health


Test Your Asthma Knowledge

  1. True or False? Asthma is caused by an inflammation of the inner lining of the bronchi of the lungs.
  2. Which of the following can make asthma worse?
    1. Household dust mites
    2. Pollen and outdoor mold
    3. Secondhand smoke
    4. All of the above
  3. True or False? Dust mites can be eliminated simply by washing sheets in warm water.
  4. True or False? A peak flow meter records how many asthma attacks you have had.
  5. True or False? Treating chronic asthma usually involves taking medication.
  6. True or False? Until more is known, asthma patients can do little to help themselves.


  1. True: This inflammation results in fibrosis and narrowing of the bronchi. This can make breathing difficult, particularly expiration (exhaling) and can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest.
  2. Answer: D. All of these can make asthma worse. But some things that make asthma worse for some people are not a problem for others.
  3. False. In homes, high levels of mites can be found in mattresses, pillows, bed linens, carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture, and stuffed toys. Mites can be controlled by reducing indoor humidity to less than 50 percent and temperature to 70 degrees or less, and by washing items in water temperatures of 130 degrees or higher, or by dry cleaning them.
  4. False: Peak flow meters measure how well air moves out of your lungs.
  5. True: Medication can decrease the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, relax the muscles of the bronchial tubes, and decrease the sensitivity of the lungs to allergens.
  6. False: Significant advances in understanding and treating asthma have been made in recent years. Knowing about the disease and its treatment options has helped asthma patients live healthier lives.

Fall 2007 Issue: Volume 2 Number 4 Page 19