What does asthmatic mean?

A person suffering from asthma; "she is a chronic asthmatic"; "the painful gasps of a dying asthmatic". Asthma is a disease of the human respiratory system in which the airways narrow, often in response to a "trigger" such as exposure to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. This narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing, which respond to bronchodilators. Between episodes, most patients feel fine. The disorder is a chronic inflammatory condition in which the airways develop increased responsiveness to various stimuli, characterized by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, inflammation, increased mucus production, and intermittent airway obstruction. The symptoms of asthma, which can range from mild to life threatening, can usually be controlled with a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes. Public attention in the developed world has recently focused on asthma because of its rapidly increasing prevalence, affecting up to one in four urban children.[1] Susceptibility to asthma can be explained in part by genetic factors, but no clear pattern of inheritance has been found. Asthma is a complex disease that is influenced by multiple genetic, developmental, and environmental factors, which interact to produce the overall condition.