What You Need To Know About Asthma

Today is World Asthma Day.  With asthma being talked about more and more in the media, this information may prove very helpful to you.

What is World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) that was first started in 1998. This year’s theme is “You Can Control Your Asthma.”

What is asthma?

It’s a disease that affects the lungs.  Symptoms can include, but are not limited to, wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

How common is asthma?

In North America, one out of every ten people is diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives.  Worldwide, it’s estimated that there are about 300 million people who are affected by asthma, and the prevalence is increasing.

Can I catch asthma from someone who already has asthma?

Quite simply: No.  However, asthma does tend to run in families which means that if you have family members diagnosed with asthma, you are at increased risk of developing asthma.

Children with eczema or food allergies are also more likely to develop asthma than children who do not have either eczema or food allergies.

Can second-hand smoke cause asthma?

Exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution, and other air-borne irritants can cause asthma symptoms in those who are prone to breathing difficulties, environmental allergies, and/or asthma.

Is asthma considered a chronic disease?

Asthma is a long-term (chronic) disease that lessens and worsens depending on the factors in the sufferer’s environment.  That being said, asthma worsens with age.

Are there any famous people diagnosed with asthma?

There are lots of famous people diagnosed with asthma including the following people.

  • American Olympic track medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee;
  • American Olympic diving medalist, Greg Louganis;
  • American Olympic swimming medalist, Mark Spitz;
  • American Olympic figure skating medalist, Kristi Yamaguchi;
  • American actress, Sharon Stone;
  • American actress, Jessica Alba;
  • American actress, Lindsay Lohan;
  • American rapper, Eminem aka Marshall Bruce Mathers;
  • American recording artist, Pink aka Alecia Beth Moore;
  • Irish musician, Bono aka Paul David Hewson; and
  • British footballer (and Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham’s husband), David Beckham.

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