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2015 World Asthma Day and Asthma Awareness Month

The vast majority of people with asthma have the potential to breathe easier. But they can’t reach that goal alone.

It takes a team effort—participation by clinicians and caregivers, but also others where people who have asthma live, learn, work, and play—to help create systems and environments that help those with asthma live their lives without limit.

Doctor and family members

This World Asthma Day (May 5, 2015) and Asthma Awareness Month (May 2015), the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) encourages clinicians and others to focus on identifying allergens and irritants that can lead to asthma attacks. Such triggers are unique to each person but can include tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, dust mites, pet dander, and more.

Once triggers are identified, clinicians, patients, and caregivers should work together to incorporate them into an easy-to-understand-and-execute written asthma action plan (AAP). Other details to include in this plan range from how to take medication to reduce airway inflammation, to specifying when, how, and whom to contact in an emergency.

Identifying triggers and completing AAPs are just part of a comprehensive approach needed to improve asthma care and control. Like diabetes or high blood pressure, managing asthma requires daily attention and ongoing education.

That’s why health care professionals who treat people with asthma should be familiar with the newest asthma guidelines (see the Expert Panel Report 3—Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma) as well as the six key actions that will help them carry out this guidance.

If you are a clinician, you may also wish to review an array of innovative asthma care and control pilot projects by NACI Strategic Partners, Demonstration Projects, and Clinical Champions, many of which helped improve care of and control for the most vulnerable, underserved populations.

Because Latinos shoulder a disproportionately large asthma burden, and many of those at greatest risk have limited literacy in English, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and NAEPP partnered to create new Respirar es vida: el control del asma en nuestros niños (A Breath of Life: Asthma Control for My Child) resources in Spanish for parents of 5- to 11-year-olds and community health workers. Subscribe to the NACI In the Know eNewsletter, to learn more about these resources, including how to order them.

Better control for every American who has asthma is something that we can all get behind—this World Asthma Day, Asthma Awareness Month, and beyond. Join the NAEPP and its partners in working toward this goal by using and sharing the resources below and in the box above.

Watch "Respirar es vida" ("A Breath of Life")

Watch the video "Respirar es vida" ("A Breath of Life") to learn how José’s parents build up their asthma team. José, his parents, a doctor and a nurse, a promotora (community health educator), a teacher, a school nurse, and a coach join forces to help José control his asthma. The video is recorded in Spanish and captioned in English and Spanish.

Use the NAEPP Button on Your Web Page

World Asthma Day Resources button

To use the NAEPP button on your website, copy and paste the code from the following text block in to your web page.

 

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Last Updated April 2015

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