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Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects over half a million children and adults living in Indiana. Asthma can be controlled but not cured. In a person with asthma, airways can swell and tighten making it hard to breathe.

Asthma is a serious health condition, but it doesn't have to slow you down! With proper management of triggers and control of symptoms, people with asthma can lead a full, healthy life.

  • Signs and Symptoms

    Asthma symptoms vary from person-to-person, but common signs and symptoms include:

    • Coughing (especially if occurring during early mornings or at night)
    • Wheezing
    • Chest tightness or pain
    • Breathlessness

    Asthma symptoms can vary from day-to-day and are experienced differently by each individual who suffer from it, thus it is important to find the best treatment option(s) to help you gain control over your asthma. It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, so it is important to check with your doctor if you frequently experience any of these symptoms.

  • Risk Factors
    • Genetics
      • It is more likely that you will have asthma if a parent, or another immediate family member, has it
    • Environmental factors 
      • Exposure to mold, allergens such as dust mites, air pollution, etc.
    • Occupational factors
      • Exposure to irritants at work such as wood dust or chemicals
    • Having a severe respiratory infection as a child
    • Tobacco use (or exposure to tobacco smoke)
  • Treatment

    There is no cure for asthma but, it can be managed with proper asthma medication (including proper usage of the medication) and by avoiding exposure to personal asthma triggers. One of the most effective ways to achieve well-controlled asthma is to personalize an asthma action plan with your doctor. These personalized asthma action plans help to: guide patient self-management, explain the what/when/how of their medication, detail the signs and symptoms of worsening asthma, and prepare patients to respond in case of an asthma-related emergency. It is necessary that we use asthma action plans to help patients achieve well-controlled asthma.

  • Triggers

    Asthma triggers are various irritants and substances that can trigger asthma symptoms, and in even worst cases, asthma attacks. Some asthma triggers include pollen, dust mites, indoor mold, tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, wood smoke, exercise, stress, and many more.

    Tips to help control asthma:

    • Maintain routine medical visits
    • Discuss asthma symptoms, triggers, medications, and side effects with a healthcare provider
    • Avoid smoking and being around others who are smoking
    • Take medications as prescribed by a healthcare provider
    • Work with health care providers to create an Asthma Action Plan that includes information concerning daily treatment, medications, short and long-term control measures, and when to seek medical treatment
    • Ensure immediate access to quick-relief medication
    • Limit exposure to your triggers
    • Review potential triggers in your home

Asthma Resources


Estimated Asthma Prevalence for Indiana in 20211:

  • Adult Age-Adjusted Current Asthma Rate - 10.2%
  • Adult Age-Adjusted Lifetime Asthma Rate - 15.3%
  • Child Age-Adjusted Current Asthma Rate - 6.3%
  • Child Age-Adjusted Lifetime Asthma Rate - 9.4%

Source: 1| CDC and Indiana Department of Health Data Analysis Team [IDOH DAT]. (2023). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence Data, 2021.