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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Newsroom
 

Asthma Facts

  • Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath.

  • The number of Americans with asthma grows every year. Currently, 26 million Americans have asthma.

  • Asthma mortality is almost 4,000 deaths per year.

  • Patients with asthma reported 13.9 million visits to a doctor’s office and 1.4 million visits to hospital outpatient departments.

  • Asthma results in 456,000 hospitalizations and 2.1 million emergency room visits annually.

  • Asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood, accounting for 10.5 million missed school days each year. It also accounts for 14.2 million lost work days for adults.

  • The estimated economic cost of asthma is $20.7 billion annually.

  • Direct medical expenditures associated with asthma, including hospital care, physicians’ services and medications, are estimated at $15.6 billion annually.

  • Indirect medical expenditures, including decreased worker productivity and lost work days for adults suffering from asthma or caring for children with asthma, and other losses total $5.1 billion annually.

  • Triggers that can initiate an asthma attack include allergens such as pollen, dust, animal dander, drugs and food additives, as well as viral respiratory infections and physical exertion.

  • Asthma is often hereditary.

  • Weather conditions such as extremely dry, wet or windy weather can worsen an asthma condition.

  • Effective asthma treatment includes monitoring the disease with a peak flow meter, identifying and avoiding allergen triggers, using drug therapies including bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory agents, and developing an emergency plan for severe attacks.

  • There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control and quick-relief medications. Long-term control medications are preventive, taken daily to achieve and maintain control of asthma symptoms. Quick-relief medications are used to treat asthma attacks. They relieve symptoms rapidly and are taken on an as-needed basis.

  • One of the most effective medications for controlling asthma is inhaled corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory medications. Taken early and as directed, these well-tolerated and safe medications can improve asthma control and normalize lung function.

  • Immunotherapy or allergy shots should be considered if asthma is triggered by exposure to unavoidable allergens, or if symptoms occur three days a week and more than two nights a month. The shots are especially helpful when symptoms occur year-round or are not easily controlled with medication.

  • Allergists are the medical specialists with the most expertise in treating asthma. An allergist can find the source of your suffering and stop it. To find an allergist, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

  • The greatest rise in asthma rates is among black children with an almost 50 percent increase from 2001 through 2009.

Find an Allergist

An allergist is a doctor who has the specialized training and experience to find out what causes your allergies, prevent and treat symptoms, and help keep them under control. Find an allergist in your zip code and find relief.

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Allergy and Asthma Relief Test

If you have allergies or asthma, use the Allergy and Asthma Relief Self-Test to review your symptoms and see if you need to find relief.

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