Asthma is a condition in which a person’s air passages become inflamed, and the narrowing of the respiratory passages makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but it also affects millions of adults nationwide. Symptoms can include tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. These symptoms are often brought on by exposure to inhaled allergens, such as dust, pollen, mold, cigarette smoke, and animal dander, or by exertion and stress. Reducing exposure to poor housing conditions, traffic pollution, secondhand smoke and other factors impacting air quality can help prevent asthma and asthma attacks. There is no cure for asthma, but for most people, the symptoms can be managed through a combination of long-term medication prevention strategies and short-term quick relievers. In some cases, however, asthma symptoms are severe enough to warrant hospitalization, and can result in death.
This indicator shows the percentage of adults who have been told by a health care provider that they currently have asthma.