World Asthma Day

World Asthma Foundation Supports World Asthma Day and Beyond

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma with a goal to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day and Asthma Awareness Month will call attention to the health issue, asthma sufferers deal with the problem year round.

According to World Health Organization estimates, 300 million people suffer from asthma and it’s the most common chronic disease among children. WHO also notes that asthma affects people in all countries around the world regardless of development although most deaths occur in lower income countries.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the air passages (or bronchial) that lead to and from the lungs that makes breathing difficult. Usually there is inflammation, which results in a temporary narrowing of the passages that carry oxygen to the lungs.

Symptoms vary from person to person and in intensity, but generally include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure. Asthma sufferers often have recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. Symptoms may occur several times a day or week and may become worse during physical activity or during the night.

During an attack, the lining of the bronchial tubes swell, causing airways to become narrow and reducing the flow of air in and out of the lungs. These attacks can cause sleeplessness, fatigue, reduced activity and absenteeism from work or school.

The basic causes of asthma are not completely understood, but risk factors for developing the disease include a genetic predisposition along with exposure to particles and substances that irritate the air passages and cause allergic reactions. Some irritants include dust in furnishings, pets, tobacco smoke, chemicals and air pollution.

Other causes include physical exercise, medications (aspirin and beta blockers), cold air and even emotional reactions such as stress, anger and fear.

Asthma is generally treated with two types of medications. Long-term control medicines help to reduce airway inflammation and prevent symptoms. The second are quick-relief medications which relieve asthma symptoms when they flare up.

There is no known cure for asthma but the best treatment is to control the disease by working closely with a physician, taking medications and avoiding triggers.

Education is a key part of controlling asthma and the World Asthma Foundation is helping to inform asthma sufferers, their families and the general public about the disease. The foundation’s website, has continual news feeds and updates about asthma.

The organization also provides:

Podcasts and videos
Links to clinics and resources
Links to asthma specialists
Interviews with asthma specialists and
Links to local, national and global events

For more information and details about asthma, medications and maintenance programs, go to

Asthmatic Climbs Mt. McKinley

Chattanooga. TN Asthmatic Man Climbs Mt. McKinley To Raise Asthma Awareness

According to Chattanooga TN News Reports, A Chattanooga man scales one of the world’s tallest peaks to draw attention to pediatric asthma. The 34-year-old, father of two, explains why such a common condition took him all the way to Alaska.

“It’s something everyone has to have but they take for granted, good quality of breathing air,” said Jonathan Lehman, who was diagnosed with a mild case of asthma 4 years ago. The Chattanooga Firefighter was determined to not let the disease slow him, or anyone else, down.

“The stigma that used to be attached to kids with asthma was that you were relegated to inactivity, and that you had to stay inside, and that you couldn’t play sports, and that’s really unnecessary,” said Lehman.
To prove his point, in May, Lehman started his ascent on Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. It took him 14 days to scale, in temperatures below zero. Lehman used the mountain as a metaphor for spreading the word about lung health. “The mountain would give more than enough parallel to respiratory issues because as you go higher on the mountain the air is thinner and it’s harder to breath,” said Lehman.

His goal wasn’t to raise money, just awareness. “Asthma doesn’t have to be a limiting factor whether you’re a kid or an adult. We live in a great city that has tons of outlets for creative enjoyment whether it’s on the rivers or in the woods, or walking,” said Lehman.

Now that Lehman is back, he’s focusing on a new goal. He’s part of the Citizen Forester Program, a weekend class where participants plant trees and learn about the environment. Lehman says he’d like to move that program into local elementary schools.

May is Asthma Awareness Month

May is Asthma Awareness Month and U.S. EPA Administrator visits Children’s Mercy in KC to Celebrate

Missourinet reports that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson toured Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO today, highlighting Asthma Awareness Month.

Jackson says the Environmental Protection Agency has a role to play in the battle against asthma.

“It’s EPA’s job to enforce our country’s landmark Clean Air Act,” Jackson says in an interview with the Missourinet. “And that act has saved millions of lives over the 40 years it’s been in place. We still have work to do. We have to reduce levels of smog and fine particles and soot in our air which trigger asthma, bronchitis, lung disease, heart disease and premature death.”

Jackson says that for the Midwest, air pollution primarily comes from vehicle emissions and the emissions from coal-fired power plants. Jackson says the cause behind Asthma Awareness Month is personal for her, because her youngest son suffers from asthma and she understands the struggle both the child and the parents have in dealing with the ailment.

AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson [4:30 MP3]