Asthma Awareness Challenge

May is Asthma Awareness month. The purpose is to bring awareness to asthma and help empower those with asthma gain better control of their own disease.

Asthma statistics

Here are some facts about asthma in the United States that are reported from the CDC:

  • There are 18.4 million people with asthma. That is about 1 in 12 adults and that number continues to grow annually. That is approximately 7.6% of the population.
  • There are 6.2 million children with asthma which is approximately 8.4% of the population.
  • In 2015, there were 3,615 deaths that had asthma listed as the primary cause of death. That is 1.1 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Also in 2015, there were 2 million visits to the Emergency Room that had asthma listed as the main diagnosis.

These numbers seem pretty staggering once they are on paper. And they really are!! While not all of these asthma deaths and emergency room visits are preventable, a good majority of them.

In honor of asthma awareness month, I wanted to give you a challenge. This challenge can be done any time of the year regardless if it is May or not. Actually, I am going to give a few different options and I want to encourage you to consider taking at least one of them on.

The asthma challenges

Teach your family and friends about YOUR asthma

Be as open as you can about your asthma. Tell them your triggers and what your common asthma symptoms are. I have said it numerous times before that asthma is not a one size fits all disease and your asthma symptoms might not be the same as what another family member or friend experiences.

Educate as much as you are able about asthma. Take it back to the basics. Explain what happens during an asthma flare-up - use the SET acronym. The Swelling that occurs inside the airways, Excess mucus that builds up and Tightening of the bronchial tubes, all as a result of inflammation which what happens in the lungs with asthma flare-ups. The combination of these things leads to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Give your asthma action plan a check up

An asthma action plan is a vital tool that every asthmatic should to have in their toolbox. It is something that you and your doctor come up with together that tells you what medications you are on as well as what steps to take when your asthma is starting to act up and when to seek medical care.

Your action plan needs to be revisited with your doctor from time to time to be sure everything that was previously discussed needs to be changed. Asthma is a disease that is episodic and can change over time, so your action plan will rarely stay the same for any long period of time.

Take some time for self-care!

Self-care is so important. In this day and age, we are a society that is constantly on the go. We are busy people and rarely actually take time for ourselves.

I want to really challenge you to take some time to do something for yourself. Whether that is something as simple as an uninterrupted bubble bath or a walk in the park. Something for yourself. If you enjoy crafting or fishing or really anything to give yourself a break, you deserve it! Having even a little bit of time to relax and focus on our mental health can, in turn, make a huge difference when it comes to our physical health.

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