Asthma Awareness Lasts All Year for 24 Million Americans
(May 10, 2019) - ANCHORAGE, Ala.
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May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the American Lung Association reminds all Americans that for over 24 million people in the United States that live with asthma, awareness doesn’t end on the first of June.
“Every season, every new environment and every new activity may bring different asthma triggers with it,” said Marge Stoneking, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Alaska. “Asthma can follow you wherever you go. It takes extra planning to make sure that a breathing emergency doesn’t cause you to miss out on life’s moments.”
Asthma 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 thousands of people in Alaska that have asthma,” said Stoneking.
In honor of Asthma Awareness Month, the American Lung Association encourages all Americans to increase their asthma awareness and knowledge by visiting Lung.org/asthma-basics 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.
More asthma information and resources can also be accessed through Lung.org and the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.
About the American Lung Association
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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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