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)
- Chest tightness or pain
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
- 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)
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.
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
- Resources for Clinicians
Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma
- National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Contains comprehensive guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. The guidelines emphasize the importance of asthma control and introduce new approaches for monitoring asthma.
Continuing Education and Training
Asthma Educator Institute
The Asthma Educator Institute™ (AEI) is a two-day preparatory course for individuals that want to implement asthma guidelines-based care and those qualified to take the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) examination. The AEI was developed by experts in the field of asthma and it reflects the National Institute of Health, Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma.
Learn more about the Asthma Educator Institute and sign up here
Online Resources for Healthcare Providers
- Asthma Guideline Implementations Steps and Tools (GIST) A set of simple tools developed by the Michigan Department of Community Health to assist healthcare providers in making treatment decisions for their asthma patients.
- Asthma IQ The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) has created an online continuing education program to assist primary care providers with the implementation of asthma guidelines.
- 15- Minute Asthma Visit The Center of Disease Control and Prevention has added a video where Dr. David Callahan outlines how clinicians can provide evidence-based care for patients with asthma in a 15-minute office visit. To find the video click the link and scroll all the way down to videos where you will find the 15-Minute Asthma Visit video.
- Evidence Summary: Control Asthma The CDC is partnering with healthcare purchasers, payers, and providers to improve health and control health care costs. CDC provides these partners with rigorous evidence about high-burden health conditions and associated interventions to inform their decisions to have the greatest health and cost impact. This initiative aligns evidence-based preventive practices with emerging value-based payment and delivery models.
- Neighborhood Health Plan: Helping Patients with Asthma Breathe Easier
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Asthma Information for Healthcare Professionals
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- National Asthma Control Initiative: Healthcare Professionals
- Supporting successful asthma management in schools: The role of asthma care providers
- The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Asthma
- American Association for Respiratory Care
- American Lung Association
- The Global Initiative for Asthma
- Asthma Alliance of Indianapolis: Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition
- Center for Healthcare Strategies, Inc (CHCS)
- Resources for Schools and Childcare
Asthma Friendly Schools Application Guide
With the goal of working towards improving student heath, attendance, and academic achievement, IKE established a voluntary award opportunity to acknowledge schools with exceptional asthma management programs. The most basic and essential activities fall under the bronze level award. Successive award levels include additional activities and require more effort, resulting in progressively stronger programs and culminating in a Platinum level award. The Asthma Friendly Schools recognition levels represent points of progress toward the goal of improved asthma management, because every small step makes a difference. For more information on this program please email IDOHAsthma@health.IN.gov.
Printable Asthma Medication Poster
This printable Asthma Medication Poster was originally developed by the Minnesota Department of Health. These posters were designed as a tool for providers, school health personnel, and for use in clinics, to assist patients in proper identification of their inhaled asthma medication. Posters contain the a photo, generic and brand name, delivery of dose, and manufactures' name for all inhaled medication commonly prescribed in the US.
Asthma Emergency Care Plan 2022-23 School Year
The key component to asthma management is maintaining an individualized Asthma Action Plan for each student with asthma. Indiana Public Schools do not require the use of a specific plan. Numerous print, electronic and computer-based interactive plans are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assist school nurses in choosing the best plan for use in their schools.
Winning with Asthma: Coach's Clipboard
"Winning with Asthma" is a program designed to educate sports coaches about the effects of asthma on athletes.
Indoor Air Quality Rule
410 IAC 33 To establish an indoor air quality (IAQ) inspection, evaluation, and parent and employee notification program to assist Schools and State Agencies in improving indoor air quality and establish best practices and necessary minimum standards for IAQ, IAC 33 regulates items that affect the IAQ, specifies when the department will inspect for IAQ, and establishes requirements for parent and/or employee notification of IAQ evaluation findings.
Click here to watch trainings on how to improve indoor air quality in schools. These trainings will help to create a safe and healthy environment for students, especially those living with asthma. These trainings were completed with the help of the Indiana Department of Health, Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana Department of Education.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Information on Asthma for School and Childcare Providers
- Environmental Protection Agency: Improving Health in Schools
- Environmental Protection Agency: Healthy Child Care
- National Athletic Trainers' Association
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: Asthma
- National Association of School Nurses
- Indiana Department of Education
- Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition
- Indiana Association of School Nurses
- Improving Kids Environments'
- National Association of School Nurses Resources
- Resources for Citizens
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. When an asthma attack happens, the inside of the airways swell and fill with mucus. The muscles around the airways tighten. This makes the airways smaller. Some of the most common symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing.
People with asthma can help control their symptoms by managing triggers in their environment. Triggers include anything that brings on asthma symptoms, and they differ for each person with asthma. Some triggers include dust mites, cigarette smoke, perfumes and fragrances, mold, pet dander, cockroaches, and stressful or emotional situations.
People with asthma should talk to their doctor about developing an asthma action plan. Asthma action plans help people with asthma to manage their symptoms. Plans include a list of triggers, how to avoid them, information on medications and when they should be taken, and emergency telephone numbers.
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. Keep reading for more information on managing asthma.
Tips From Former Smokers
In March 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers®. The Tips campaign profiles real people who are living with serious long-term health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
Since its launch, Tips has featured compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities and the toll these conditions have taken on them. The campaign, which continues through 2018, has also featured nonsmokers who have experienced life-threatening episodes as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Asthma Medication Assistance Programs
The Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin's asthma medication assistance website has coupons and resources to assist patients in receiving free or reduced-cost asthma medications.
Asthma Action Plans
- Full-size action plan - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Wallet-size action plan - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Breathe Well, Live Well
Breath Well, Live Well is an adult asthma management program designed to help you learn to control your asthma and reduce symptoms so you can enjoy more activities. The program was developed by the American Lung Association. Any adult can participate in this program. A referral is not required. For more information contact the American Lung Association.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
The AAFA is offering three new resources for parents, asthma educators, and Head Start staff. The first is Wee BreathersTM. This program is designed to help educate children under the age of seven about the basics of asthma management. The program is available online free of charge. Secondly, the Asthma Management and Education Online program is designed as a resource for asthma educators and Head Start staff wishing to improve their knowledge of asthma management. The program also allows respiratory therapists and nurses a chance to earn seven free continuing education credits. The third resource being offered is the Asthma Basics or Children curriculum. This set of three books is designed to provide asthma educators and Head Start staff content needed for educating staff and parents about asthma management.
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma &Immunology (AAAAI) Just for Kids-Website features asthma-related asthma and allergy games, activities, stories and videos for children
- CDC-Website features asthma data and links to other online resources for kids aged 6-16
- Quest for the Code-Access this FREE interactive computer game online! Perfuma, Smokita and General Robo-Roach are pesky villains on a mission…to trick kids into thinking they can’t manage their asthma. It’s up to YOU to put a stop to their master plan. Featuring the voices of eleven top celebrities and designed in stunning 3-D animation, Quest for the Code was created to help kids ages 7 to 15 learn how to manage their asthma.
- A Is for Asthma!
- CDC - Information about Asthma ASL video
- How Lung Friendly is Your Workplace?
- The Pathway to Managing Your Asthma
- Family Asthma Guide
- You Can Control Your Asthma
- Asthma Management Plan Training for Parents
- Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
- Healthychildren.org: Allergies and Asthma
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Asthma Information for Parents
- Environmental Protection Agency: Asthma
- American Lung Association
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Children's Environmental Health Network
- KidsHealth: Asthma Center
- Asthma Alliance of Indianapolis: Information for Patients, Families, and Kids
- Improving Kids Environments' (IKE)
- General Resources
- Asthma Home Triggers
- CDC Tips from Former Smokers
- Guides on Using EXHALE
- Asthma Action Plan
- Common Asthma Triggers
- Environmental Asthma Triggers
- American Lung Association Training
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- What if I Can't Afford My Asthma Medication
- Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin
- Drug Assistance Programs
- Quit Now Indiana
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%
- Fact Sheets and Infographics
- 2022 Indiana Asthma Fact Sheet
- 2022 Asthma Environmental Triggers in the Home Fact Sheet
- 2018 Indiana Asthma Fact Sheet
- 2013 Asthma Burden and Management in Indiana's Minority Populations - Minority Health and Asthma Fact Sheet
- 2013 A brief update on Health People 2020 Asthma Objectives in Indiana Adults aged 65 and older. - Healthy People 2020 Indiana Brief: Asthma Update
- 2013 Fact Sheet on Asthma's affect on Women - Asthma and Women Fact Sheet
- 2013 Update on Healthy People 2020 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Objectives in Indiana - Healthy People 2020 Indiana Brief: COPD
- Reports, Surveillance, and Presentations
Reports, Surveillance, and Presentations
- Indiana Asthma Slide Set, 2022
- Indiana State Plan, 2021
- Indiana Public Health District Asthma Profiles, June 2016
- County Emergency Department Visit and Hospitalization Rates, 2015
- Additional Information