Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways of the lungs. This inflammation (swelling) makes airways more sensitive to irritants such as pollen, dust, smoke or pet dander. Exposure to these triggers can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness of the chest and coughing. Some people's symptoms are so severe that they require hospitalization.
While there is no cure for asthma, fortunately, most asthma can be controlled through proper medication and education. Learning to identify and eliminate any potential asthma triggers in your environment is critical to controlling the disease.
Respiratory Health Association is widely recognized as a leader addressing asthma in our communities. Chicago has been called the epicenter of the nation's asthma epidemic. Recognizing the severity of the problem, we provide several programs and initiatives to educate people with asthma and those who care for them:
- Fight Asthma Now® (FAN) teaches children and teens how to understand and manage their asthma in a comprehensive way.
- Asthma Management teaches caregivers to care for children or anyone living with asthma.
- Asthma-Friendly Childcare trains childcare providers to protect young children with asthma in traditional childcare and home daycare settings.
- Web-based asthma education addresses the needs of coaches and childcare providers who can not attend in-person training.
- Collaboration with professional societies provides timely information on asthma to medical professionals.