World Asthma Day: American Lung Association Advocates for Equitable Asthma Care, Educates Public on Common Lung Disease

More than 25 million Americans have asthma, including 6.1 million children. This chronic lung disease causes millions of lost school and work days every year, and is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children. Today, for World Asthma Day, and throughout the year, the American Lung Association is working to raise awareness about asthma, educate the public on the disease and advocate for better, more equitable asthma care.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs. With asthma, swollen airways become extra sensitive to some things people are exposed to in the environment every day, or asthma "triggers,” making it hard to breathe. Asthma triggers, such as respiratory infections, allergens like pets, irritants such as smoke exposure or air pollution, exercise, and emotions can make it hard to breathe by causing swelling, constriction of muscle bands and mucus in the airways.

“Asthma cannot be cured but can be controlled through good management. Thankfully, because of research throughout the years, there are now many options to help patients manage their asthma, including emerging treatments like single maintenance and reliever therapy (SMART) for people with persistent asthma, and management tools like the Asthma Action Plan,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Unfortunately, the burden of asthma is not equally shared. Black, Hispanic and Indigenous People are disproportionately impacted by asthma, as well as individuals living in poverty. We are working to change that through new legislation called the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act.”

In March, the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act was introduced to expand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Asthma Control Program to all 50 states. This law would ensure that states and communities are better prepared to help people with asthma. The Lung Association encourages individuals to take action and urge their members of Congress to pass this important legislation here.

The Lung Association works all year to raise awareness and educate the public about asthma. Today for World Asthma Day, and during May, which is Asthma Awareness Month, the organization is encouraging healthcare professionals, teachers, caregivers, as well as all individuals with asthma to take the free online course, Asthma Basics, at Lung.org/Asthma-Basics.

In addition, people living with asthma are invited to join the free Better Breathers Network, a nationwide patient and caregiver platform to improve the lives of millions of adults living with a chronic lung disease such as asthma. By becoming a member of the network, individuals can access online support communities including our Living with Asthma community, webinars, videos, local in-person support groups as well as more learning opportunities. For more information about the Better Breathers Network visit Lung.org/bbn. The Lung Association gratefully acknowledges Inspire as a National Sponsor of the Better Breathers Network.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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