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  1. Corbridge, Susan PhD, APN, ACNP, AE-C
  2. Corbridge, Thomas C. MD, FCCP


OVERVIEW: More than 16 million U.S. adults have asthma, a condition that prompts 2 million ED visits and nearly half a million hospital admissions annually. Management of this potentially deadly, chronic inflammatory disease depends on early diagnosis, accurate classification, appropriate treatment, and targeted patient education. This article outlines current guideline recommendations for asthma and reviews what clinicians need to teach patients about its pathophysiology, pharmacotherapy, self monitoring, and environmental control. The authors discuss the classic clinical presentation of the disease, describe how to assess severity and control, and explain how such assessments can guide management.