One in 13 Americans (more than 25 million) lives with asthma. Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children. Asthma causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. If your child has asthma, he or she has it all the time, but he or she will have asthma attacks only when something bothers his or her lungs. In most cases, we don’t know what causes asthma, and we don’t know how to cure it. Asthma can be controlled by knowing the warning signs of an attack, staying away from things that trigger an attack such as dust mites and tobacco smoke, and following the advice of a doctor or other medical professional.
Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)
World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. GINA organizes World Asthma Day, which is held on the first Tuesday in May, in collaboration with health care groups and asthma educators throughout the world.
Each year, GINA chooses a theme and coordinates preparation and distribution of World Asthma Day materials and resources. GINA also maintains the World Asthma Day Internet Headquarters, where materials and resources are posted for downloading and a complete listing of activities around the world is constantly updated.
The first World Asthma Day, in 1998, was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain. Participation has increased with each World Asthma Day held since then, and the day has become one of the world’s most important asthma awareness and education events.
Resources and Activities
GINA has a list of suggested local activities surrounding the topics of education about asthma, fundraising and profile raising (marketing or events).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a tool kit about asthma awareness month with an array of helpful and useful articles and resources.
The CDC also has several other resources and articles that discuss asthma and severe weather, action plan and fact sheets, resources for parents/children, a list of possible asthma triggers and management, along with other resources and communities.
Around 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma.
There is no cure for asthma, but once it is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is in place you will be able to manage your condition, and your quality of life will improve.
Failure to use appropriate drugs or comply with treatment may sometimes lead to death.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
Drugs and avoiding asthma triggers are the most appropriate treatment for asthma.
Ways to Observe
This day is about bringing awareness - go get tested or have anyone you know with known allergies and prone to similar symptoms go get tested. You can also volunteer and donate to research organizations and charities. Also, educate local communities and schools about lung health and what asthma is.
Asthma like any other chronic illness has its negatives, but don’t let that stop you from doing all the things you want to do in life.