Who Gets Asthma?
Asthma effects people of all ages and races. In the US asthma affects:
- Both men and women
- Almost 15 million Americans
- 5 million under age 18 years old
- More African-Americans and Hispanics than Whites
How Does Asthma Develop?
- The cause of asthma is unknown
- You are more likely to develop asthma if you are related to someone with allergies or asthma
- If you have a history of eczema or allergies
What Happens to People with Asthma?
- With treatment, most people can live normal lives
- Asthma that is not well controlled can cause many problems
- People miss school and work, go to the hospital and some even die if asthma is not cared for
- The symptoms that people experience can change as they age and grow
Symptoms to Look for
You may have all of these symptoms, some of these symptoms, or just one.
- Dry coughing
- Wheezing (a whistling noise when you breath out)
- Chest tightness or hurting (the feeling that someone is squeezing or sitting on your chest)
- Shortness of breath
What Causes an Asthma Attack?
Asthma can flare–up when exposed to triggers. Triggers can include:
- Changes in the weather
- Illnesses—upper respiratory infections—colds or flu
- Certain medications or foods
- Exercise—running or playing hard—especially in cold weather
- Laughing or crying hard
- Environmental exposure—dust, dustmites, molds, trees, grass, pollen, animal dander, cockroaches
- Strong odors—perfumes, cleaning products
- Certain Foods
How Can I Reduce Asthma Symptoms?
- Take medicines as directed
- Remove or keep away from smoke and avoid triggers
- Eat right, exercise and get enough rest
- See your doctor at least every three to six months