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Understanding Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways, or the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, breathlessness, coughing and trouble breathing.  Many things are known to cause asthma or to trigger asthma attacks. Among these are allergens, irritants, weather, exercise and infections.

Of the 20 million people that have asthma in the United States, 9 million are children1. Asthma is the most common chronic pediatric medical condition in the United States.

Asthma is treated with two kinds of medications: quick-relief medicines to stop asthma symptoms, and long-term control medications to prevent asthma symptoms. People with asthma are encouraged to avoid triggers that can cause an attack.

Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions

Other Resources

  •  The American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology provides information on asthma symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more. 
  • Kids Health provides a lot of information specifically about asthma and children, including an online video and audio clip that help explain the disease. This information is also available en Español.
  • March of Dimes strives to help women have full-term pregnancies and is dedicated to researching problems that threaten the overall health and well-being of babies.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics provides information about how asthma is diagnosed in very young children on their website.

Advocacy and Social Connections

  • Oct 8 2014