Asthma is a lung disease that inflames the airways. People with asthma may experience a cough that only comes at night, a "barking" cough throughout the day, shortness of breath, wheezing and/or tightness in the chest. Some people only experience symptoms during exercise or exertion. For some people coughing may be the only symptom.
Anyone can develop asthma. Adults may have asthma all their lives, or they may get it for the first time as a grownup. Asthma seems to run in families.
People with asthma have airways that are super sensitive to things that do not bother other people. These "triggers" include pollen, animals, feathers, molds, dust, certain foods, exercise, change in weather temperature, strong smells and air pollution.
A health care provider can determine whether a person's symptoms indicate asthma. Your health care provider will work with you to identify triggers, and he or she may order medicines such as inhalers, pills, liquids or injections. This information can be written into a personal Asthma Management Plan to help you avoid and manage asthma attacks.
The best treatment for asthma is to avoid triggers and to take medicine as instructed by your health care provider.
WellSpan has developed an Asthma Education program to help patients manage their asthma by instructing them on:
- Recognizing potential asthma triggers
- Use of the peak flow meter
- Purpose and proper use of respiratory medications
- Breathing techniques
Asthma Education is open to all individuals with asthma and to parents of children with asthma. For more information about the program, please call us at (717) 741-8177.
Children with Asthma
To help children with asthma live full lives without limitations, WellSpan Health is proud to offer Camp Green Zone. Visit our Camp Green Zone page for more information.