Asthma Prevalence at Its Highest Level Ever
Emergency Physicians Urge the Public to Know The Triggers And The Symptoms
WASHINGTON, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Asthma is a serious disorder affecting millions of Americans each year. As the summer heats up, the nation's emergency physicians want those affected by it to know how to prevent a visit to the emergency department.
"Most people who have asthma live happy, healthy, normal lives," said Dr. David Seaberg, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "But as emergency physicians, we regularly see patients struggling to breathe because they don't have their asthma under control or don't know all of the potential triggers."
Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways in your lungs. There are an estimated 25.7 million people with asthma, 7 million of whom are children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma prevalence has increased from 7.3 percent in 2001 to 8.4 percent in 2010. It can never be cured, but with the right treatment it can be kept under control.
In many cases, asthma symptoms can be brought on by allergy-causing substances, including:
- Smoke (especially tobacco smoke)
- Chemicals in the air or in food
- Respiratory infections (examples: common cold, flu, bronchitis)
- Changes in air
Symptoms include shortness of breath that get worse with exercise or activity, coughing or wheezing without producing phlegm. Asthma sufferers should go to the nearest emergency department if they experience:
- Abnormal breathing pattern (example, breathing out takes more than twice as long as breathing in)
- Rapid pulse
- Extreme difficulty breathing
- Bluish lips and face
- Extreme sweating
- Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Tightness in the chest
"If you have asthma, understand your limitations, know the symptoms and work closely with your doctor to find the best treatment," said Dr. Seaberg. "Also, call 911 or go immediately to the nearest emergency department if you feel your symptoms warrant it. It's always better to act with caution when it comes to your health."
For more information on this or other health-related topics, go to www.EmergencyCareForYou.org.
To speak on the record with an emergency physician about asthma cases inside the emergency department, please contact Mike Baldyga with ACEP at 202-728-0610, ext. 3005.
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.
SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)Back to top