Asthma is a chronic lung disease that results in the temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. The severity of asthma varies from individual to individual. Some people have symptoms once in a while and others have symptoms that may interfere with daily life.
No one really knows what causes asthma. Researchers think that it is likely a combination of inherited factors and environmental factors that interact, typically early in life. These factors include:
- An inherited tendency to develop allergies
- Parents who have asthma
- Certain respiratory infections during childhood
- Contact with some allergens in the air or exposure to some viral infections in infancy or in early childhood when the immune system is developing
Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Attacks can be avoided by taking medicine exactly as the doctor or other medical professional says and by avoiding triggers that can cause an attack.
What you should do
Know about Asthma Triggers
An asthma attack can occur when someone with asthma is exposed to things in the environment that “trigger” their asthma. One person’s triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. Do what you can to decrease these triggers in the environment (more). Triggers may include:
- Secondhand smoke
- Dust mites
- Cockroaches and other pests
- Wood smoke
- Outdoor air pollution
- Cleaning products
- Breathing in cold, dry air
If you have asthma
- Avoid your asthma triggers
- Take all asthma medication as prescribed by your doctor
- Have an Asthma Action Plan
- Sign up for a Community Health Network Program to learn how to stay active, eat healthy, deal with stress, and talk more easily about your health concerns.
What we are doing
- Providing programs to help people better control and manage their asthma, (more)
- Monitoring the groups and numbers of people that have asthma, (more)
- The Asthma Control Coalition advises, advocates and participates in activities which address asthma in the areas of: clinical care, healthy housing, schools and public education.