MEDIA ALERT: May is Asthma Awareness Month
(May 3, 2016) - Albuquerque, NM
May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the number of people with asthma continues to grow! One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 20011. For over 25 million people in the United States that live with asthma, awareness continues beyond the first of June.
With every breath we take air passes through the nose, down the throat, into the lung, and into branching tubes called airways. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes this process difficult. In asthma, airways often become swollen and red, or inflamed. Anything from changes in temperatures to dust, chemicals and smoke in the air can trigger asthma. When these triggers reach those inflamed airways, extra mucus is created, causing the airways to swell and the muscles around the airways to tighten. When all this takes hold, the simple process of breathing becomes a struggle.
Although asthma can start at any age, childhood asthma commonly dissipates as the lungs develop. However, there is a possibility that the symptoms will come back later in life. The exact cause of asthma is still unknown, though genetics, allergies, and environmental factors all play a role in asthma development.
Increase your asthma knowledge, not just for yourself, but for over 9% or 197,000 of New Mexicans living with asthma2.
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 educational 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.
Here’s to a healthier May,
Kathleen Moseley, RN MS AE-C
Regional Project Director
American Lung Association in New Mexico
2 Resnick, Adam, The Burden of Asthma in New Mexico, 2014 Epidemiology Report. New Mexico Department of Health. Santa Fe, N.M. January 2014
About the American Lung Association in New Mexico
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website: Lung.org.