Did you know that in the United States, it’s estimated that approximately 24 million people—including more than 6 million children—are living with asthma? May is Asthma Awareness Month and today, May 3 is World Asthma Day. The 2016 theme for World Asthma Day is “You Can Control Your Asthma” and the American Lung Association has tools and resources to help you succeed.
Daily self-management of asthma can lead to an active and healthy lifestyle. Key warning signs that an adult or child’s asthma may not be in good control include:
- Needing to use a quick relief inhaler more than two times per week.
- Waking at night with asthma symptoms more than two times per month.
- Having to refill a quick relief inhaler more than two times per year.
If you answered yes to any of those questions, see your health care provider to learn the steps to better asthma management, including reducing exposure to asthma triggers.
Common asthma triggers include allergies to pollens, mold and even household pets. Air pollution including high ozone levels, traffic fumes and tobacco smoke can also trigger asthma attacks. Some people find that exercise or cold weather irritates their airways and brings on asthma symptoms.
The American Lung Association has a variety of valuable tools and programs that can help you get your own, or your child’s asthma under control:
- Understand your asthma. Take some time to learn more about asthma. Our Asthma Basics course is a self-paced online learning module for anyone who wants to learn more about asthma, its symptoms and triggers, types of medications and better asthma management. Perfect for parents of children with asthma, school personnel, employers and adults with asthma.
- Reduce your exposure to asthma triggers. It’s important for people with asthma to understand the things that cause them to experience symptoms (asthma triggers), and make a plan to avoid or limit exposure to these asthma triggers.
- Take asthma medicines. Asthma medicines are important in the daily self-management of asthma. Understanding asthma medicines is key to taking control of the disease. Take some time to learn about what each medicine does to treat your asthma and the technique to get the most out of your medicine.
- Use tools for daily self-management. Work with your asthma care provider to develop an asthma action plan, a guide to managing asthma daily as well as the actions to take when you begin to get symptoms.
The American Lung Association funds research to improve the lives of those with asthma and our Airways Clinical Research Centers is the largest not-for-profit asthma research network in the country.
For more information on these resources and more, please visit Lung.org/asthma or call the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.