Asthma Awareness Lasts All Year for 25 Million Americans

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May is Asthma Awareness Month, a reminder that asthma symptoms don’t disappear in June

DALLAS – While May is Asthma Awareness Month, the American Lung Association reminds all Americans that for over 25 million people in the United States that live with asthma, awareness doesn’t end on the first of June.

ala-logo-headAsthma is a chronic lung disease that makes breathing difficult. With every breath, air passes through the nose, down the throat, into the lung and into branching tubes called airways.  With asthma, those airways are often swollen and red – also known as inflamed.  When an asthma trigger – anything from a change in temperature to dust, chemicals and smoke in the air – reaches those inflamed airways, extra mucus is created, the airways swell and muscles around the airways tighten, all making it even harder to breathe.

Asthma can start at any age, and those with asthma as a child may have symptoms go away as lungs develop, but there is a possibility that symptoms will come back later in life.  The exact cause of asthma is not known, though genetics, allergies and environmental factors all play a role in asthma development.

“While we don’t know the exact cause of asthma, we do know that environmental factors are a huge trigger for the 1,338,916 people in Texas that have asthma,”  said Holly Torres, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Texas.  “The American Lung Association’s 2016 State of the Air Report found that Dallas ranked the 11th most polluted city in the nation for ozone pollution.  Dallas also experienced 50 unhealthy days of high ozone – also known as smog.  We have to do better for the people in Dallas.

In honor of Asthma Awareness Month, the American Lung Association encourages all Americans to increase their asthma awareness and knowledge by visiting Lung.org/asthmabasics and taking the Lung Association’s free online learning course.  A self-paced learning tool, Asthma Basics covers asthma triggers and how to identify and reduce them, action plans when flare-ups do happen, how to respond to a breathing emergency, asthma medication tutorials and an asthma management plan template.  This online course is ideal for everyone from healthcare professionals and school nurses to parents, those suffering from asthma themselves and even co-workers and friends.

“Even if you don’t suffer from asthma symptoms yourself, you can learn to support those in your life and community who do,” said Torres. “Asthma Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to take the Asthma Basics course, it may just help save a life.”

More asthma information and resources can also be accessed through the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.