Friday, May 20, 2011

Asthma on the increase

Some doctors once told me I had asthma—turns out it was some pills they gave me.

But it was no fun! When you can’t breathe and you hear little squealing sounds in your chest when you lie in bed, it’s creepy. Oh—and it can also get so bad you never take another breath.

In 2009, 24 million people had it, 4 million more than in 2000.

That’s 8.2% of all US residents.

Children are more prone to it than adults, African-Americans more than other ethnicities.

The cause is not clear and the scientists are not sure why it’s becoming more prevalent.

The emphasis is on managing it.

Asthma attacks are not necessarily mandatory—it can be controlled. This is why even with more cases, the death rate is dropping.

First, docs are more likely to diagnose it. Two-thirds of those with asthma have been taught to recognize symptoms and respond correctly.

Two-thirds of those with asthma have persistent asthma and should be long-acting meds, although many are not. They should also have a short-acting “rescue” medication on hand.

Some triggers are pollen, mold, pollution, and some foods.

Talk to your doctor. Asthma is no joke.

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