Asthma

Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County works with the Pediatric Asthma Coalition of the Capital Region and other groups to help educate individuals about asthma. 


Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that makes breathing difficult. Asthma affects more than 20 million Americans. One in 11 children and adults in New York State currently have asthma (NYS Asthma Surveillance Summary Report, 2009).

Asthma symptoms

Not everyone exhibits similar asthma symptoms. The same person’s asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next. Below is a list of some common asthma symptoms:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
Asthma Triggers

Many indoor conditions could trigger an asthma attack. Common indoor environmental asthma triggers include secondhand smoke, dust mites, pets, molds, cockroaches and pests.

Controlling Asthma

There are two types of asthma medications: relievers and controllers. Everyone with asthma should have a reliever medicine. Relievers are also called rescue medicines. Some people with asthma also need a controller medicine, which needs to be taken every day. Individuals should always rinse their mouth after using an inhaled controller medicine. People that use an inhaler should always use a spacer with their inhalers so more medicine gets into their lungs.

Asthma Action Plan

This is a comprehensive plan that patients make with their doctor or nurse practitioner. An asthma action plan helps patients know what to do when they have asthma symptoms, reminds them when to take controller medicines, helps them decide when to use their reliever medicine, and when they need to see their doctor. An asthma plan has all information on one page. Children should have a copy at home, at school, and with caregivers. A sample asthma action plan can be found at http://www.epa.gov/asthma/pdfs/asthma_action_plan.pdf

Asthma Resources

www.wmyhealth.org/paccr
http://www.ccealbany.com/documents/Asthma-freebedroom-final.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm
http://www.childrenshealthfund.org/sites/default/files/publications/CHF_Asthma_Eng_2009.pdf
http://www.health.state.ny.us/statistics/ny_asthma/pdf/2009_asthma_surveillance_summary_report.pdf

Last updated May 12, 2015