May is Asthma Awareness Month
May is Asthma Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about asthma and its impacts on millions of people worldwide. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the airways in the lungs, causing them to become narrow and inflamed, which makes it hard for individuals to breathe. Asthma has no cure, but it can be managed through proper treatment, medication, and lifestyle changes. During Asthma Awareness Month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides ready-to-use tools and resources to promote asthma awareness in your community.
Know the Facts
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 24.7 million people have asthma in our country, including 5.5 million children. Uncontrolled asthma is a common reason people seek medical attention, and the overall economic costs in the United States are high. One of the most critical steps in managing asthma is understanding asthma facts and triggers.
The CDC defines work-related asthma is asthma triggered by exposure at work. Worsening asthma or new onset asthma in a worker should raise questions about workplace causes. Asthma symptoms can develop shortly after exposure. However, they can also develop months or years after repeated exposure to harmful substances. Asthma symptoms can come and go, and some workers might not have all symptoms. Workers can get work-related asthma even when using personal protective equipment such as respirators or face masks. Sometimes, these breathing problems start at work and continue after the worker leaves work and exposure has stopped. Symptoms for work-related asthma tend to improve on weekends, vacations, or other times when away from work. However, in some cases, symptoms do not improve until an extended time away from the exposure or trigger.
Awareness is Key
Asthma Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn about the condition and support those affected by it. It is a time to encourage people with asthma to take active steps to manage their symptoms and work with their healthcare providers to find the most effective treatment plan. Check out the Asthma Community Network to share, learn, and connect with community-based asthma programs.
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