Health News

Breathe Easy on World Asthma Day

For the millions living with asthma, the condition can be aggravated by several environmental factors. It can occur suddenly or gradually and can happen throughout childhood or develop for the first time as an adult. So on World Asthma Day, we wanted to share some facts and tips to help raise awareness for not only those who are impacted by the condition but for others who can help prevent flare-up symptoms.

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Asthma Statistics
Asthma causes 10.5 million missed school days a year
44% of people hospitalized for asthma are children
The disease impacts over 24 million people
It limits the level of physical activity for 3 out of 5 people living with the condition
Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and adolescents in the US

Once diagnosed, a physician will be able to pinpoint a patient’s specific asthma triggers. Some common causes can include:

Outdoor allergens: pollen from trees, weeds and grasses
Indoor allergens: Pet dander, mold and dust mites
Upper respiratory infections like the cold or flu
Air Irritants: Tobacco smoke, fumes or strong odors
Excessive activity

When triggered, asthma creates inflammation and spasm of the tubes – which makes breathing more difficult and causes wheezing, coughing (especially at night), chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Practice Precaution
Those living with asthma know that if certain precautions are not in place, the condition can quickly worsen. First, families should create a personalized Asthma Action Plan, that includes:
Known asthma triggers
Lists out prescribed medication and their dosage based on symptom severity
Plan of action when experiencing mild to severe symptoms

Medication used to treat asthma falls into two categories. Quick-relief medication helps when experiencing asthma flare-ups. While long-term control medication helps to establish normal lung function, relieves symptoms, and prevents asthma flare-ups.

The important thing to remember is to not let asthma keep you out of the game. By taking the right medicine and avoiding triggers, you can keep asthma flare-ups at bay.