Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the air passages, resulting in temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Asthma symptoms can be caused by allergens or irritants that are inhaled into the lungs, resulting in inflamed, clogged, and constricted airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly.
- There is no cure for asthma, but asthma can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.
- Asthma has a genetic component. If only one parent has asthma, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have asthma. If both parents have asthma, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have asthma.
- More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from asthma. It is one of this country's most common and costly diseases.
Every day in America:
- 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma.
- 30,000 people have an asthma attack.
- 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.
- 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.
- 11 people die from asthma.
Allergies are characterized by an overreaction of the human immune system to a foreign protein—more commonly known as an allergen—that you eat, breathe, inject, or touch. This immune overreaction can result in symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and scratchy throat. In severe cases, it can also result in rashes, hives, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, and even death.
- There is no cure for any allergy. Allergies can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.
- Allergies have a genetic component. If only one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies.
- More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from allergies. It is among the country's most common, yet often overlooked, diseases.
For more information, tips, and tools from the oldest and largest patient advocacy organization for those with asthma and allergies, please visit www.aafa.org.