According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nine million U.S. children under age 18 have been diagnosed with asthma, and more than four million have had an asthma attack in the past 12 months. Asthma accounts for an estimated 14 million lost days of school annually.
Although some people may believe that asthma is not serious, that it is just an inconvenience, or that the asthma sufferer is simply lazy, these are misconceptions. Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease that cannot be cured or prevented. Nearly a half million Americans are hospitalized annually because of asthma, and it ranks third as a cause of hospitalization among people under the age of 15. The death rate associated with asthma is low, but asthma deaths have increased significantly in recent decades and approximately 5,000 Americans die every year as a result of asthma.
Asthma Information For Teens provides basic facts for teens who have recently received a diagnosis of asthma as well as more in-depth information for teens who have had experience dealing with asthma since early childhood. It includes information about the genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to the development of asthma, common asthma "triggers" (substances like pollen, dust mites, mold, tobacco smoke, cockroaches, animal dander, and some chemicals that cause attacks in people with asthma), and the medications and lifestyle adjustments used in managing asthma and controlling asthma flares. A section on current asthma-related research is also included along with a directory of resources and suggestions for teens who would like to read more about asthma.