May Is Asthma Awareness Month
Source: Mount Sinai Health System
For those with asthma, springtime brings an increase in symptoms, making awareness of symptom triggers and health risk factors particularly crucial. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 25 million or 8% of the US population suffer from asthma. The cost associated with care and absences from work due to illness is over $56 billion each year. A diagnosis of asthma can lead to limited physical activity, absences from work or school, and frequent emergency room visits.
“Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing,” said Linda Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Director of the Clinical Asthma Program at Mount Sinai-National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute. “While there is no cure for asthma, a personalized care plan including appropriate medications and education on triggers and proper care techniques can prevent attacks from occurring, helping patients lead a full and active life.”
Signs and Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
During an asthma attack, airways and lungs swell and constrict airflow. Tightened airways can also cause mucous to build up and further limit air supply. Symptoms may include wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and trouble breathing. Asthma attack triggers are unique to each sufferer, but some common triggers include:
· Tobacco smoke
· Outdoor air pollution
· Dust mites
· Pet dander
· Idling cars
· Cockroach allergen
In addition to performing research on the underlying causes of asthma, Mount Sinai is using mobile devices to track, educate and monitor asthmatic patients. The Asthma Health App allows asthma patients to self-monitor symptoms and triggers, promotes positive behavioral changes and adherence to treatment plans, and provides researchers with critical data.
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