What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs in which the air passages become inflamed, making it hard to breathe.  Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed with medication, behavioral changes, and avoiding triggers.

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Asthma affects approximately 25 million people across the nation. In Hawaii, more than 150,000 people are affected by asthma, and about one-third are children. In 2015, over 7,500 people were seen in the emergency department for asthma or asthma-related symptoms. Sixteen percent of these visits were infants and young children (0-5 years). Although the number of deaths due to asthma in Hawaii has declined in recent years, there was an average of 22 deaths per year from asthma between 2013 and 2015.  Asthma is one of the most common reasons among children and adults for missed school and work days, both in Hawaii and nationwide.

For more information about asthma, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s Asthma Fact Sheet.