What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that causes an individual to have inflamed airways. People who suffer from asthma often have reactions to certain substances that they are inhaling, otherwise known as asthma attacks or flareups. An attack occurs when the muscles around these sensitive airways begin to tighten, allowing less air to flow into a person’s lungs. Asthma can be triggered by numerous causes such as allergies, exposure to cold, cigarette smoke, exercising, and outdoor air pollution. Symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.

Asthma has become a prevalent issue throughout the United States. In 2011, it was estimated that 1 in 12 people have asthma. Asthma also contributes to the mortality rates of both children and adults. In 2007, 185 children and 3,262 adults died from asthma related causes. Although the disease is incurable, there are many ways symptoms can be alleviated and causes of these symptoms, lessened. In the Greater Roanoke Valley, through education, we can help asthma sufferers lead normal, healthy lives.