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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting the Facts About Asthma

Asthma is a term that describes reactions in the human body when breathing passages in the body are affected by external or internal conditions leading to a constriction of the airways.

Asthma is often associated with people who have allergies as well. It is known that a majority-- some 60% of the people who suffer from asthma--also have allergies.

Knowing some quick facts about asthma can help you research and understand the types of asthma and how they can be treated. There is not a complete cure for asthma but quality of life can be greatly enhanced with proper preventative and responsive treatment.

For some people asthma can be a life-threatening condition, so it is important to learn as much as you can about the disease through consultation with medical professionals. What follows is a primer on the condition known as asthma, some facts about its impacts in the human population and common treatments.

Asthma in America

Every day in the United States:

  •          40,000 people a day have an asthma attack
  •          9 people a day die from asthma
  •          1,200 people check into the hospital each day with asthma symptoms
  •          4,700 asthma attacks per day result in visits to the emergency room
  •          27,000 people will miss work today due to asthma symptoms
  •          35,000 children will miss school (again!) due to asthma conditions

These statistics illustrate the impact of asthma on the lives and health of Americans.

  •         More than 3,000 people will die this year from asthma alone
  •         14,600,000 people (approximately 4% of the overall population) experience asthma attacks each day
  •         Asthma actually impacts more than 25 million Americans, more than twice the number of diabetics.

Asthma is therefore one of the most serious health concerns in the nation, and is apparently on the increase due to factors that have not been entirely identified. Yet the current facts are daunting enough to encourage anyone with a risk of asthma to take action to protect their family or themselves.

  •        Asthma is one of the most common and chronic conditions among children.
  •         Nearly 5 million asthma sufferers are under age of 18.
  •        Women are more commonly at risk from asthma than men.
  •         Asthma affects African-Americans in a slightly larger percentage than Caucasians

Impact of Asthma on Culture and Economy

Treating asthma and allergies requires a spectrum of treatments to control the condition. Each treatment strategy is highly personal and may differ, even within a family
  •         The costs of treating asthma are estimated at $18 billion per year in America.
  •         Costs include time lost at work and school due to asthma-related illness, absenteeism and other associated difficulties.

National strategies

Difference in quality of asthma care can be pronounced due to economic and social structures.

  •         Factors such as local air pollution levels can greatly affect the number of asthma cases.
  •         Economic factors, especially urban living conditions and industrialized areas can exaggerate risks of asthma.
  •         Racial or cultural differences may affect quality of health care and access to effective asthma treatment technology and strategies.
  •         The elderly are at particular risk from death due to asthma, with senior citizens accounting for 60% of the annual 4,000 deaths due to asthma.

Personal Strategies

Educating yourself about asthma treatment strategies is critical to protecting your own health, no matter what age or background you are. Affordable technology is available to help you breathe better, treat the air quality of the environment and living space you inhabit, and finding ways to address chronic or temporary bouts of asthma.

Check out our asthma control devices for more information on how to help treat asthma.

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