May is Asthma Awareness Month, and May 2 is Asthma Awareness Day. This year’s theme is debunking myths and misinformation about asthma. There are many ways you can get involved.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than
May 2 is World Asthma Day. On this day and throughout May, you can help educate about asthma, participate in events and fundraisers, and show your support.
In 2023, the theme involves debunking myths and misinformation about asthma and allergies, including their causes and how to treat them.
Myths about asthma
Here are a few myths about asthma. Asthma Awareness Month is a time to debunk them.
Myth 1: If you’re not wheezing, you don’t have asthma.
- Fact 1: While wheezing is a common asthma symptom, there are many reasons you may not hear wheezing during an attack. Sometimes, you need a stethoscope to hear wheezing. If your asthma attack is severe, it may block airflow, stopping wheezing.
Myth 2: Asthma medications are habit-forming.
- Fact 2: Asthma medications are key to effective asthma management. They aren’t habit-forming and don’t lose their effectiveness over time. Taking your asthma medications as prescribed is important to keep your asthma from worsening.
Myth 3: Asthma is a childhood disease that you eventually outgrow.
- Fact 3: While asthma usually develops during childhood, people rarely “outgrow” asthma, and it lasts into adulthood. For some people, asthma symptoms may improve as they get older, but there are many reasons why it may worsen or continue to flare up when you’re an adult.
Use the Environmental Protection Agency’s tool kit
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one organization that has tips and tools to help you show your support and get involved in Asthma Awareness Month.
The EPA has a tool kit including information to help educate people about asthma, ways to volunteer, and flyers you can print or post to help inform others.
Participate in a LUNG FORCE walk or run
The American Lung Association sponsors LUNG FORCE walks and runs throughout May. Find one near you.
These walks and runs help people living with lung disease, honor the memory of people who have lost their lives to lung disease, and support individuals with lung disease who need help.
Many organizations work to increase awareness, provide education, and support individuals who have asthma and their families. They need your help.
Here’s a list of organizations that support Asthma Awareness Month:
- Asthma Community Network
- Allergy & Asthma Network
- American Lung Association
CDC, National Center for Environmental Health
Facts and statistics about asthma
- In the United States, the number of people with asthma has increased to more than
25.2 millionsince 2001, but the number of asthma attacks has decreased in that same time, thanks to effective treatments.
- Additionally, there are nearly
6 million U.S. childrenunder 18 years old with asthma, making asthma a leading cause of chronic illness in U.S. children.
- Black people in the United States are five times more likely than white people in the United States to go to an emergency room due to asthma, and they are three times more likely to die from asthma than white people. A
2016 studyidentified a novel genetic change in Black children with asthma that wasn’t as common in children of European or Asian ancestry, suggesting there may be an ethnic genetic component. This also highlights the need to include more Black people in asthma research. Systemic racism and healthcare inequities are likely a major part of this increased risk as well.
- Ten people in the United States die from asthma each day, and in 2020, deaths from asthma rose for the first time since 2010.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the airways in your lungs. Asthma can increase breathing difficulties, limit how you perform some exercises, and affect certain daily activities.
There are many treatment options for people with asthma. Getting asthma treatment can reduce your chance of death from the condition.
Not everyone with asthma will have the same symptoms, but here are the main asthma symptoms:
For many people with asthma, the outlook is good. Many treatment options are available, and it’s possible to manage asthma. Managing asthma can prevent serious medical events or death.
May is Asthma Awareness Month, and May 2 is Worldwide Asthma Awareness Day. In 2023, the theme involves debunking myths and misinformation about asthma and allergies, including their causes and how to treat them.
There are many ways to show your support and get involved in Asthma Awareness Month.