Asthma Facts

Asthma is a lung disease. It can make your airways inflamed, swollen and sensitive. When something irritates your airways they become narrowed and inflamed. Asthma causes recurring periods of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.

EHHD participates in the Regional Asthma Coalition (RAC). The RAC is committed to working on behalf of childcare providers, parents, and children with asthma in the region to help ensure that their voices and needs are adequately represented to the State Department of Public Health. Asthma is fairly prevalent in our community, and chances are good that asthma affects someone you know. The Connecticut Department of Public Health reports that:

  • Among Connecticut residents surveyed in 2014, 72,000 (9.6%) children and 257,000 (9.2%) adults suffered from asthma.   In 2014, 8.6% of US children and 7.4% of US adults had asthma.
  • Asthma is the single most avoidable cause of hospitalization, yet it is consistently one of the most common admitting diagnoses in pediatrics.
  • In 2014, Connecticut incurred over $135 million acute care charges due to asthma as a primary diagnosis.
  • Of the $135 million asthma acute care charges, $92.8 million were for hospitalizations and $42.5 million were for emergency department (ED) visits.  Of the $135 million, $102 million (76%) were charged to public funds (Medicaid or Medicare).

Click here for more stats on asthma in Connecticut.

What Can I Do About My Child's Asthma?

As a resident of the Eastern Highlands Health District you're eligible for the "Putting On AIRS" Program. AIRS stands for "Asthma Indoor Risk Strategies." It is a free program that helps you find what may be making your child's asthma worse. With your permission, trained staff from participating health departments checks your home for things that may start asthma attacks. You'll also receive free educational materials like mattress covers, pillowcases and spacers! Click here to learn more about Putting On Airs.




What You Need to Know About Asthma

The Connecticut Department of Public Health provides the following resources to help you manage you or your family member's asthma:  


What is Asthma?-Learn about the basics of asthma such as signs/symptoms, common triggers, and much more


Asthma Action Plans-Learn the importance of having an asthma action plan as well as find a printable Asthma Action Plan (AAP)


How to use an Inhaler - Learn the closed-mouth technique for using an inhaler.


Educational Materials-Find materials and resources to educate those with asthma, parents, or caregivers


Kids' Corner-Find links to kid friendly websites where children can learn all about asthma through fact sheets, games, videos, and activities


Healthcare Resources-Learn how you can get insurance and which companies offer patient assistance programs to get medication


Regional Activities-Learn about state-funded activities: Putting on AIRS, Easy Breathing, & CCEJ


Healthy Homes-Learn about the Healthy Homes Initiative, Putting on AIRS, and other resources to learn how you can maintain a clean and healthy home


Environment-Learn how environmental factors affect your health as well as organizations that work to protect the environment


Day Care-Learn how to manage asthma in child care facilities, preschool educational program, and other resources

Schools-Learn about programs and initiatives for schools, resources to managing asthma in school-aged children, asthma reporting forms, and links to additional resources

Coaches' Corner-Find out about tips on how to manage exercise-induced asthma as well as other resources for coaches

Statewide Asthma Partnership-Learn about the partnership and find links to resources about policies and advocacy organizations as well as read the statewide asthma plan

Asthma Surveillance-Read the burden report, school-based asthma reports, data briefs, fact sheets, and find links to EPA map tracker and more

Publications-Read published journal articles


For Professionals

National Asthma Educator Certification Board-Find an asthma educator or learn how you can become a certified asthma educator


Asthma Educator Institute-Those who qualify to take the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) examination, learn more about the American Lung Association's (ALA) 2-day prep course for the exam