A new paper finds that asthmatics who believe that an odor is potentially have increased airway inflammation for at least 24 hours following exposure, which highlights the role that expectations and psychology can play in health-related outcomes.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs. According to the National Institutes of Health, over 25 million Americans have the disease, which can interfere with quality of life. The airways of asthmatics are sensitive to 'triggers' that further inflame and constrict the airways, making it difficult to breathe. There are many different types of triggers, including pollen, dust, irritating chemicals, and allergens. Strong emotions and stress also can act to trigger asthma symptoms.