What is Asthma?

Asthma is the chronic inflammation, swelling and narrowing of the airways (bronchial tubes) in the lungs and affects more than 22 million Americans, including 9 million children.

Symptoms can include:

  • Frequent Coughing Spells
  • Low Energy
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Chest Tightness or Pain
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Tightened Neck and Chest Muscles
  • Feelings of Weakness or Tiredness

The exact cause of Asthma is not known, but many treatments are available to control the disease and symptoms are generally totally reversible with treatment.

Asthma & Children

  • Asthma has become the most common chronic childhood illness, affecting 1 in every 15 children in the U.S.
  • Both the number of new cases and the annual rate of hospitalization for asthma have increased about 30% over the past 20 years and despite advances in treatment, asthma deaths among young people have more than doubled over that period.
  • In most cases, the disease starts in early childhood from 2 to 6 years of age, with researchers finding that around 80% of all cases are caused by or associated with allergies such as dust mites, pollen, mold, animal dander or tobacco smoke.
  • Asthma can also be triggered by colds, flu or other illness, stress, cold, windy weather or sudden weather changes.

Asthma & Adults

  • Adult asthma affects approximately 1 in every 20 adults in the U.S. Many of these cases strike those who thought they had “outgrown” asthma.
  • You cannot outgrow asthma.
  • In about 50% of children with asthma, the condition may become inactive in the teenage years but symptoms may recur anytime during adulthood.
  • Studies show that, in as many as 75% of all cases of childhood asthma, the asthma reappears in later life.