Today is World Asthma Day! Take a few minutes to read this post because chances are, if you don’t have asthma, you DO know someone who does.
So, what is asthma? According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “Asthma is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty.”
Still think the asthma issue isn’t applicable to you? Maybe you don’t know your family, friends, and co-workers as well as you think you do. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), “About 1 in 10 children had asthma and 1 in 12 adults had asthma in 2009.”
And asthma appears to be on the rise. According to Talisa White, AAFA External Affairs Manager, on average, nationwide, between 2001 and 2010, asthma prevalence increased from 7.3% to 8.4%, an increase of over 4.3 million new cases.
I used to think asthma didn’t apply to me. I’m not proud of it, but I’m willing to admit it so that it will resonate with someone out there reading this. Then my son was born, and everything changed in what felt like heartbeat. For the last ten years, he has battled asthma and together we have learned far more about nebulizers, inhalers, steroids, and so on than we ever knew possible. And, for the most part, we’ve done it with a smile…determined not to let this chronic disease define us.
So on this World Asthma Day, take 60 seconds to do one (or all) of the below and show someone else with asthma that when you are educated about this disease, it loses its power to define you!
A special thanks goes out to Mike Tringale, SVP External Affairs AAFA, and Talisa White, AAFA External Affairs Manager, for letting me share the below press release and all that they do to support the asthma and allergy communities!
CITIES THAT TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
Courtesy of AAFA
New List of 100 Most Challenging Places to Live with Asthma Highlights the Burden Nationwide, and it’s not Just About Air Quality
World Asthma Day comes in May when everyone wants to be outdoors enjoying the breathtaking sights, sounds and smells of springtime. But for the 25 million Americans with asthma, breathtaking is what they’re trying to avoid.
The national burden of asthma costs Americans over $50 billion per year in healthcare expenses, missed school and work days, and death. With asthma rates continuing to climb – now over 8% of the U.S. population – the burden of asthma on our cities is also growing. But it’s not just about asthma prevalence and air quality.
For the 11th year in a row, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released its Asthma Capitals report, ranking the 100 most challenging cities to live in with asthma. The annual study is the most comprehensive nationwide longitudinal analysis of metro area asthma data for the largest cities in the U.S. AAFA looks at 13 critical factors regarding asthma prevalence, environmental conditions and healthcare utilization. No place is completely safe from asthma, and AAFA’s report shows that where you live can make a difference on exposure to asthma triggers, quality of life, costs and access to care.
Richmond, VA, is in the number one spot for the second year in a row. Memphis, TN, came in at #2, followed by #3 McAllen, TX, #4 Oklahoma City, OK, and #5 Philadelphia, PA. The ranking assesses factors such as asthma prevalence, morbidity and mortality, local smoking laws, air quality, pollen counts, number of asthma specialists, medication use and the number of emergency room (ER) visits for asthma. Richmond’s final score based on all factors contributed to its top ranking again this year. To see the ranking methodology and details for all 100 cities visit www.AsthmaCapitals.com.
Severe asthma patient Kenny Beyer has lived with asthma his entire life and understands the risks. “I have been hospitalized 24 times in the past 7 years, and admitted to the intensive care unit 8 times,” says Beyer. “I felt like I had to live in a bubble so I wouldn’t have an asthma attack.”
“There are many things that we can improve now to make life better for people with asthma,” says AAFA spokesperson and asthma patient, Talisa White. “Some patients have a hard time avoiding their triggers, others just don’t take daily medications like they should or they don’t have access to proper asthma care and education,” says White. “Our Asthma Capitals report helps to shed light on the asthma burden in each city, but it also provides a roadmap for improvements.”
New Top 25 Asthma Capitals™ (To see the full report visit www.AsthmaCapitals.com)
||Oklahoma City, OK
||New Haven, CT
||New Orleans, LA