Asthma is a chronic, or lifelong, inflammation of the lungs’ airways. This inflammation, or swelling, makes airways more sensitive to triggers such as pollen, dust, secondhand smoke or pet dander. Exposure to these triggers can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness of the chest and coughing. Asthma affects more than 18 million adults and nearly 6.2 million children.
Scientific discoveries have led to improved treatments, but there is currently no cure for this lifelong disease. Fortunately, most asthma can be managed and controlled with proper medication and education.
Since May is Asthma Awareness Month, we want to highlight the wide range of asthma resources available on RHA’s website for people living with asthma. If you or someone you love is living with asthma, check out some of these key resources:
Living with Asthma – Learn more about different kinds of asthma triggers, medications, and signs of an asthma emergency. RHA’s asthma education programs for school-aged children and adults provide much of this information. With today’s knowledge and treatments, most people can live normal, active lives and experience few symptoms.
Asthma Action Plans – Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. Asthma action plans are written documents developed by you and your health care provider, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode. If you are the parent/guardian of a child with asthma, you should complete an asthma action plan with your child’s health care provider. A copy of this plan should be given to any adult who provides care for your child.
Asthma at School – Asthma is the leading cause of school absence due to chronic illness. An estimated 13.8 million school days are lost per year due to asthma. Sending your child with asthma to school can create concerns for both of you. Learn more about how to prepare to send your child with asthma to school as well as Illinois laws protecting your child’s right to carry an inhaler and what you can expect from your school in regards to asthma management.
What You Need to Know about Asthma – Curious about spacers, nebulizers, or the asthma warning signs? The Asthma section of our library has a wide array of brief, one-page overviews with the most essential information you need to know to understand and manage asthma.
Don’t forget to check in with your doctor and care team regularly to ensure your asthma is under control and you’re following their recommendations. With proper care people living with asthma can lead full and healthy lives.