If you have asthma, you are not alone. More than 14 million people in the United States have this lung disease. Of these, almost 5 million are children. Asthma is a problem among all races. But the asthma death rate and hospitalization rate for blacks are three times the rate of whites. Proper asthma care could prevent these problems for all.
The following information can help you learn how to control your asthma or help a friend or family member with asthma.
Asthma Is a Serious Lung Disease
Asthma makes the sides of the airways in your lungs inflamed or swollen all the time. See the drawing below. Your airways react to things like smoke, dust, pollen, or other things. Your airways narrow or become smaller and you get common symptoms like those listed in the box. Asthma that is not well controlled can cause many problems. People miss work or school, go to the hospital, or even die because of their asthma. But you do not have to put up with the problems asthma can cause.
Your Asthma Can Be Controlled With Proper Care
With your doctor's help, you can control your asthma and become free of symptoms most of the time. But your asthma does NOT go away when your symptoms go away. You need to keep taking care of your asthma. Your asthma cannot be cured - asthma is a part of your life. So you need to make taking care of your asthma a part of your life. This is true even if your asthma is mild.
How To Take Care of Your Asthma
1. Work with your doctor and see him or her at least every 6 months.
2. Take your asthma medicines exactly as your doctor tells you.
3. Watch for signs that your asthma is getting worse and act quickly.
4. Stay away from or control things that make your asthma worse.