Frequently Asked Questions
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by ongoing inflammation in the lungs demonstrated by excess mucous and tissue swelling that may cause an asthma attack whereby the small airways of the lungs undergo spasms and tighten up ranging from mild to life threatening.
What causes Asthma?
Scientists continue to argue about what causes asthma, although it is clear that many factors play a role including genes, allergies, and environmental pollution.
What can trigger asthma attacks?
Asthma attacks may be triggered by the following:
- Mold & mildew
- Rodent Droppings
- Animal dander
- Second Hand Smoke
- Smoking tobacco
- Wood smoke
- Household chemicals
- Combustible pollutants
- Glues or other products containing formaldehyde
- Paint & paint removers
- Scents and perfumes
- Exercise induced
- Changes in the weather
Why does asthma disproportionately impact low-income, urban and communities of color?
While asthma affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups, low-income and minority populations suffer substantially higher fatality rates, hospital admmissions, and emergency rooms visists due to asthma. In California, Latino children are hospitalized for asthma at a rate that is 10% higher than for white children. Although some genetic factors contribute to these disparities, we also know environmental, economic, and social aspects contribute. These include:
- Geographical concentration in areas with poor air quality.
- Poverty, which increases exposure to causes and triggers.
- Poor Housing and school conditions
- Limited access to health care
- Inadequate health insurance
- Lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate asthma education programs
- Schools with poor indoor air quality