Asthma Awareness Month: American Lung Association Focuses on Addressing Challenges of Extreme Heat and Asthma

Organization keys in on educating healthcare professionals and people with asthma on how to navigate climate change and excessive heat

Millions of people in the U.S. live with asthma, which is a life-long chronic lung disease. While we have proven asthma management techniques and treatments, people living with asthma and their healthcare providers face increasing challenges due to climate change and extreme heat. During Asthma Awareness Month, the American Lung Association is working to increase awareness and help people with asthma and healthcare providers better manage asthma during times of excessive heat or extreme weather.

“Thanks to decades of research into better asthma management techniques and treatments, most people with asthma lead normal, active and healthy lives. Unfortunately, climate change threatens this progress. Climate change is resulting in extreme weather, increased ozone pollution, increased allergens, more frequent and intense wildfires, and more cases of excessive heat,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “These events can make a person’s asthma more difficult to manage and even trigger asthma attacks. The American Lung Association is working hard to ensure that people with asthma and their healthcare providers are prepared for these changes and can take the proper precautions.”

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs. It can start at any age. More than 26 million Americans live with asthma, including 4.5 million children. Extreme temperature, both heat and cold, is a trigger for individuals with asthma. Excessive heat increases the risk of asthma episodes, asthma-related hospitalizations and asthma-related deaths. Children and women with asthma are especially at risk. Hot, humid air can cause asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Heat can trigger asthma symptoms because high temperatures and humidity cause air to not move, trapping pollutants that can irritate the airways. 

During Asthma Awareness Month in May, the American Lung Association is working to help people with asthma and healthcare providers better manage their asthma during times of excessive heat or extreme weather by:

  • Helping healthcare providers better treat asthma by offering the Asthma Educator Institute, which is a professional education course for frontline healthcare professionals eligible to sit for the national asthma educator certification exam. The Lung Association also provides a new, free one-hour online course Asthma Management Guidelines: A Review for Healthcare Professionals that is designed to help healthcare professionals learn and apply guidelines-based asthma care. 
  • Educate people living with asthma with the free Asthma Basics course and by offering resources at This program was recently updated and is provided in English and Spanish. The experts at the American Lung Association’s Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNGUSA) can also answer questions and help people with asthma questions and navigating insurance challenges and medication changes.
  • Encourage people living with asthma or who care for someone living with asthma to join the Patient & Caregiver Network to get free support, education and connection to others.
  • Advocate for H.R. 5749, the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act to expand the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s National Asthma Control Program, which aims to increase federal, state, and local efforts to address asthma in our communities. 

Learn more and support asthma research by donating to the American Lung Association at

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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