Asthma Services

Asthma is a common lung disease affecting more than 135,000 people in Franklin County. An asthma attack happens when the lungs are not getting enough air to breathe.

Every day in America:

  • 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma.
  • 30,000 people have an asthma attack.
  • 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.
  • 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.
  • 11 people die from asthma.

Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.

asthmaWhat Causes an Asthma Episode?

  • The lining of the airways becomes swollen.
  • The airways produce thick mucus.
  • The muscles around the airway tighten and make the airway smaller.

What are the symptoms of Asthma?

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Sucking in (a person with asthma tries to draw air into the lungs)
  • Prolonged breathing out (breathing out may take twice as long as breathing in)
  • Faster breathing

The symptoms of asthma are usually worse during the night, but an asthma attack can happen at any time. Asthma attacks can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening attacks where breathing stops completely.

What are Asthma triggers?

An asthma trigger is something that causes an asthma attack:

  • Allergens
  • Irritants
  • Infections
  • Exercise

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

A doctor or nurse practitioner will use many factors to determine whether a person has asthma. These include:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory test

Medical History

  • Does anyone in your immediate family have asthma?
  • Do you have allergies?
  • Do you cough when you exercise?
  • Do you have repeated infections of the nose throat or lungs?
  • What is your home environment like? Do you have pets? Does anyone smoke in your home? Do you sleep on a feather pillow?

Your doctor will want to know the symptoms you have, when they happen and what seems to make them worse. Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough the begins or worsens at night
  • Symptoms that are triggered by cold air, exercise or exposure to allergens
  • Red, itchy patches on the skin

Your doctor may also give you a lung function test (spirometry). It is easy and painless. You simply breathe into an instrument. This will measure the lungs volume and the rate in which air is taken in and out of the lungs.

How is Asthma Treated?

Controlling infections:

  • Avoid getting sick
  • Wash your hands often
  • Keep your hands away from your face and mouth
  • Get a yearly flu shot
  • Practice allergy control

Control your environment:

  • Avoid irritants like cigarette smoke, perfumes, car exhaust, paint fumes, incense, scented candles and potpourri
  • Avoid known allergens
  • Allergy proof your home


Asthma Action Plan:

  • Use Asthma Medications
  • Controller medication/inhalers
  • Allergy medications
  • Rescue Inhalers

Use rescue medications:

  • Rescue inhalers are medications that cause the airways to relax so the airways can open wider.
  • Rescue medications are not for daily use. If you are using your rescue inhaler daily, please call your doctor.

Work closely with your physicians and health care providers.

Use a personal, written action plan to manage episodes.

What services are provided by the Asthma Outreach Coordinator?

Asthma management services are available to both children and adults. The in-home program, provided by a qualified individual, can be scheduled and tailored to the client and caregiver’s individual needs. This program includes training on the correct use of the asthma management tools needed to effectively manage and reduce asthma symptoms and episodes.

Our Asthma Outreach Coordinator provides:

  • In-home assessments of specific needs and individual goals
  • Hands-on demonstrations of medical devices and breathing techniques
  • Equipment and management tools, including peak flow meters, nebulizer machines medication spacers and aerosol supplies
  • Ongoing support and resources
  • Personalized, written asthma management plans
  • Referrals for insurance, physicians, allergists and prescription assistance

For more information about The Breathing Association’s Asthma Management Services, to make an appointment, to learn more about breathing problems or to make a donation, please call the Asthma Outreach Coordinator at (614) 437-1526.

Information on lung health problems is always available, no matter your income or insurance type.

The Breathing Association’s Asthma Services are supported by United Way of Central Ohio, other community based funders and donations from the community. Please call (614) 437-1524 to learn more about how you can help support programs that serve low-income and underinsured individuals. The Breathing Association is a 501 (c) (3) organization.


Program Partners

Educational Links

What to do if you are allergic to your pet?

Contact Us

Please contact the Asthma Outreach Coordinator at (614) 437-1526 for more information, to schedule an appointment, to learn more about asthma, to make a donation or to volunteer.

Information on lung health concerns is always available regardless of your income or insurance status.

Asthma Information Brochure