May is National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month
More than 60 million Americans have asthma and allergies! About 1 in 12 children younger than 18 years old are affected. Although there is no cure for asthma, the best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take medicine to prevent symptoms, and prepare to treat attacks.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways in the lungs. During an asthma attack, airways become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Asthma attacks can be mild, moderate, or very serious.
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Tightness or pain in the chest
Asthma attacks are triggered by:
- Allergens (like pollen, mold, dust mites, and animals)
- Occupational hazards
- Tobacco smoke
- Air pollution
- Airway infections
According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment, asthma is both the leading chronic disease found in children, as well as the leading cause of hospitalizations among children. There was a 56% decrease in the asthma hospitalization rate among children five years of age and younger. The asthma hospitalization rate was over four times higher among African-Americans and Other children (19.3 per 10,000) compared to White children (4.5 per 10,000).
For more information about asthma and allergies, visit https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/.