Asthma is a lung disease that causes difficulty in breathing and can sometimes lead to death. In the US, around 20 million people are affected by asthma, many of whom are children. When asthma is under control, the airways are clear and open. When asthma is not under control, the muscles around the airways inside the lungs tighten and the airways fill with mucus. This causes people with asthma to wheeze, cough, and suffer from a shortness of breath.
Many things can trigger an asthma attack – several of them can commonly be found in the home. Pet hair and fur, second-hand smoke, mold and mildew, roach and rodent droppings and excessive dust can all trigger asthma episodes (attacks).
While asthma has no cure, it is treatable. Effective medications, paired with environmental modifications to reduce exposure to common triggers, can enable most people living with asthma to lead normal, active lives. The home is an important front in the battle to control a person’s asthma.
City of New Haven Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
City of New Haven
Bureau of Environmental Health
54 Meadow Street, 9th Floor
New Haven, CT 06519